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Better health starts in the stomach

posted Dec 12, 2016, 8:51 AM by Kathy Carr
For years Carberry Manitoba Starch Products (CMSP) has made leaps in the field of gut health for farm animals. Now the company is showing its ability to innovate through new product lines to improve human health and the health of their pets. 
The new products were launched through a subsidiary of CMSP called MSPrebiotics Inc. They use the power of prebiotics to balance digestion and boost the immune system by increasing the ‘good’ bacteria in the colon.

Bringing the product to the market
In the form of a flavourless powder, the product can be mixed with liquids for easy consumption. It is packaged with equipment purchased with support from Growing Forward 2. Called MSPrebiotic® and MSPeubiotic® for humans and pets respectively, it can be purchased in conveniently sized, stand-up, resealable pouches. 
“Growing Forward 2 definitely helped us accelerate our ability to get our products into the market,” says Earl McLaren, president and CEO of MSPrebiotics Inc. “Any kind of health research is extremely expensive and time consuming. The stage between the product being proven and commercialization is the gap companies can drown in.”
MSPrebiotic® was tested through human health trials at the St. Boniface Hospital Research Centre, where it proved to impact health positively, starting in the gut and extending to the whole body. It reduces blood glucose levels, increases healthy microbiome levels and promotes regular, heal­thy bowel movements. 
MSPeubiotic® balances pets’ digestive systems and helps problems such as diarrhea, constipation and reducing associated odors. It prevents issues when a pet experiences food changes or gets into things it shouldn’t.
MSPrebiotics Inc. successfully launched both products earlier this year. So successfully in fact, that it is already planning to construct a second manufacturing facility, an expansion that will mean more jobs in the small town of Carberry where the company is located. 
In Manitoba to stay
Earl McLaren, who owns and operates the company with his brother Derek McLaren, says they are not at all interested in moving to a bigger centre or outsourcing production. 
According to Earl Mc­Laren, the health benefits in the pre- and probiotic fields are endless, starting with gut health, but extending to disease re­duction and well-being. 
“The amount of development in the last 10 years in the pre- and probiotic fields is incredible,” says Earl McLaren. “My brother and I spend a lot of time traveling in Europe and getting ideas which we bring back to Canada. We see opportunities for further product development in the future.”
The McLaren brothers grew up on a family farm near Carberry and Earl jokes that they had a 23-year apprenticeship called farming that gave them the pain tolerance to go into business. He credits farming with teaching him the work ethic and stick-to-itiveness to take an idea through to commercialization. 
Increasing agri-food processing in Manitoba, Shauna McKinnon, business development specialist, in the food & agri-product processing bran­ch with Manitoba Ag­ricul­ture, says MSP­rebiotics Inc. will have a real impact on agri-food processing in Manitoba. 
“They’re quite a success story,” she says. “Two brothers that own a company in the small town of Carberry. With this product they are projecting a steady increase in sales so that would be a direct benefit to Mani­toba’s agri-food sector. They’ve also identified 10 new full-time employment positions in the next 10 years and they’ve added approximately half of those already.”
McKinnon was one of the food and agri-product processing staff involved in helping the McLarens move their application for Growing Forward 2 funding through to completion. 
To learn more about MSPrebiotic® and MSPeubiotic® visit www.msprebiotics.com.

Story courtesy of the Government of Mani­toba
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