Bifidice – which started as a family business in Russia 25 years ago – found a new market in Latin America in 2016 with the support of Start-Up Chile, a public startup accelerator created by the Chilean Government to encourage technological innovation in the country.
In just three years, the company has grown sales from 10 million to 100 million Chilean pesos and expanded markets to Italy and Mexico through franchise agreements.
“The reception of the product has been excellent,” Anastasia Gutkevich, Bifidice founder and director, told Food Navigator-LATAM, explaining that “Bifidice is a preventive treatment that acts by restoring microbiota and reinforcing the immune system through a daily dose of Bifidumbacteria Bifidum in a unique, patented, and highly effective format.”
In Chile, Bifidice is produced in 50-gram servings of vanilla, chocolate, or vegan mango flavors by artisanal ice cream-maker Eurofood S.A in a process overseen by Bifidice. It is currently
distributed in seven regions in 30- to 90-day supplies, family packs, or by annual subscription through the company’s website.
From Russia with Bifidumbacteria Bifidum
The technology behind Bifidice was created 30 years ago in Siberia by Eugeny Gutkevich, - a biophysicist, professor, and Anastasia’s father. He studied the enzymes in the human intestine and found that Bifidumbacteria Bifidum produced many more enzymes than any of the other bacteria.
“After this finding, he worked with this bacterium to conserve and transfer it; first to animals and then to the human intestine,” Gutkevich explains. “Different types of food carriers were tested using dairy as the main base, without achieving much effect. Finally, we preserved the bacteria in the form of ice cream with successful results, and Bifidice was born.”
Population-based studies supported by the Russian regional government then substantiated the effectiveness of prevention and improvement of symptoms of various conditions in preschool children who consistently consumed the functional ice cream.
“We have a generation of millions of Siberian children who grew up with the Bifidum ice cream, which showed and continues to show amazing results,” says Gutkevich.
Benefits of Bifidum
Regular consumption has been shown to prevent allergies, obesity, digestive problems, and chronic and seasonal diseases, according to Bifidice.
It also lists “prevention of clinical symptoms of mastitis, improved absorption of nutrients during pregnancy and lactation, reduced colic in infants and sensitization to allergens during the first two years of life.”
Company data collected through certified questionnaires showed a 92% reduction of digestive pathologies; improvement of symptoms in 53% of consumers with chronic respiratory diseases; a 98% improvement of compromised immune systems; and a 75% reduction of food allergies with skin or respiratory manifestations.
Clinical studies are also being developed with the University of Chile’s Institute of Nutrition and Food Technology (INTA) to analyze the efficacy of Bifidumbacteria Bifidum in the treatment and prevention of different diseases in its new market.