Back to Blog

Flavor Change: Why ZBiotics Changed in November 2022

ZBiotics is a bit tarter than it used to be. We explain why.

You may have noticed that the flavor of ZBiotics changed a bit in November 2022. If you did, you have an impressive palate! 

This is due to a change in our bottle-filling process and formulation. More details are below if you are interested, but in short, we increased the acidity in the bottles with the addition of citric acid, resulting in a tarter and more citrusy flavor. The probiotic bacteria is exactly the same, and the product quality is improved, with greater shelf-stability and consistency from bottle to bottle.

What have we changed and why?

Essentially, we switched from filling our product with hot water to filling it with ambient temperature water.

We previously used hot water because it is one method of ensuring that there are no live contaminants in the bottle (e.g. unwanted bacteria or yeast/mold). The heat kills them. The probiotic bacteria we use in ZBiotics has the natural ability to form an endospore. An endospore is a super-resilient state that allows the bacteria to tolerate lots of stressors, including the high heat used to kill off contaminants in the bottling process.

However, even though the endospores were resilient to the heat, they weren’t entirely resistant. After being on the market for a few years and reviewing data from several bottling runs, we saw occasional variability in the number of bacteria per bottle. This depended on how big of a batch we made and how much time the formula was held at high temperature. 

To remove this variability and ensure a more consistent product, we decided to shift to filling our bottles with ambient temperature water. Because we are no longer using heat to protect against contamination, we instead use a lower pH (i.e. higher acidity) and a common beverage preservative called potassium sorbate. This combination is actually a stronger protection against contamination, and our probiotic can tolerate it better than the heat-based process. 

This results in a higher quality and more consistent product in every single bottle. Furthermore, it lives up to our commitment to deliver the highest quality product to our customers.

What are the results of this change?

First and foremost, because of the increased acidity with more citric acid, the product tastes tarter and more citrusy than our previous formulation. We also removed one of our other flavors, so it tastes a little less earthy. It’s not a huge change – more of a slight evolution. If you’ve had ZBiotics before, you might notice it. But no need to be alarmed. The flavor change is intentional and to be expected.

In addition to the change in flavor, there’s another great benefit! Because the probiotic is more stable and the product is more consistent bottle to bottle, we’ve actually seen better customer feedback for this new formula compared to the old. ZBiotics customer satisfaction was already very high (>90%). But customers who’ve tried the new version are responding even more positively than they were before. 

That’s super exciting. The formulation change resulted in a better, more consistent, higher quality product, and that’s translating to even greater benefit for you! 

If you have any questions or would like to learn more, of course as always you can contact us at info@zbiotics.com, and we’d be happy to dive in deeper!