Health E-Insights: Your company is located near San Francisco. How did the name Nebraska Cultures come about?
Mr. Shahani: Dr. Khem Shahani, the founder of Nebraska Cultures, was a professor at the University of Nebraska for more than 40 years. He lived in Nebraska from 1957 until 2001 when he moved to California. Of course, he moved the company to California, but he kept the name. Nebraska Cultures still retains some ties with the University of Nebraska. Our senior scientific consultant, Dr. Robert Hutkins, is currently the holder of the Khem Shahani Chair in Food Science and Technology at the University of Nebraska.
Health E-Insights: What was your key marketing strategy to gain interest and growing consumer acceptance of probiotic supplementation?
Mr. Shahani: Education of consumers is absolutely essential. Dr. Shahani was a professor, and he devoted his life to education and research. Part of his legacy is his book, Cultivate Health from Within: Dr. Shahani’s Guide to Probiotics, which is aimed at the consumer. It is a highly informative but concise book, and anyone interested in digestive health can easily understand the science behind probiotics, and especially why they are so important to human health. Consumers are becoming more aware of what probiotics are and how they can be used to improve their health. Nebraska Cultures is committed to educating consumers, as can be seen from our website and promotional materials.
Health E-Insights: Could you say thanks to food manufacturers, constipation, diarrhea and IBS in the U.S. is booming? Or is it just from the awful diets of most people?
Mr. Shahani: The increase in digestive problems in the U.S. population is due to several factors. Most of us eat a very different diet than the diet our grandparents ate. Because we now eat more highly processed foods, drink chemically treated water, are under more stress, and take more antibiotics (both prescribed by doctors and used in food production), the probiotic bacteria in our intestines are found in fewer numbers than before. Therefore, pathogenic bacteria now have a greater chance to make us sick.
Health E-Insights: How large do you envision the probiotics market becoming?
Mr. Shahani: The probiotics market is still growing very quickly. We predict that it will triple in the next five years.
Health E-Insights: What excites you most about your company?
Mr. Shahani: Nebraska Cultures is committed to providing the highest quality probiotics in the market. Dr. Shahani’s discovery of the DDS-1 strain of Lactobacillus acidophilus and his ground-breaking research on that strain, as well as on other probiotic bacteria, make him a pioneer in the probiotic industry. Based on his research, Nebraska Cultures still produces probiotic bacteria using the same methods he developed to ensure the stability and efficacy of the bacteria. We are excited to be on the cutting edge of this fast-growing and important industry.
Health E-Insights: What's your favorite funny story about yourself?
Mr. Shahani: I really can’t think of one.
For more information and interview consideration, contact Sheldon Baker at email@example.com or visit his website at www.bakerdillon.com. And check out his blog at www.NutraInk.com.