Nutrition and Health Sciences, Department of


Date of this Version

Spring 4-22-2016


McNamara, E. Synbiotic ice cream as a probiotic carrier tested in a human blind crossover trial. [thesis]. University of Nebraska - Lincoln; 2016.


A THESIS Presented to the Faculty of The Graduate College at the University of Nebraska In Partial Fulfillment of Requirements For the Degree of Master of Science, Major: Nutrition and Health Sciences, Under the Supervision of Professor Julie Albrecht. Lincoln, Nebraska: April, 2016

Copyright © 2016 Erin M. McNamara


Diet is an important factor in gastrointestinal health. A synbiotic food option utilizing prebiotic and probiotic ingredients may be beneficial for improving gastrointestinal health. To conduct a human subject study of synbiotic ice cream containing prebiotic (inulin) and two strains of probiotics (Lactobacillus casei KE99 and Bifidobacterium bifidum) to determine its effectiveness as a carrier for a these ingredients and to identify any negative gastrointestinal side effects.

The study started with baseline data collection including a food frequency, a three day food recall, and one stool sample. The study was a 12 week crossover design with three weeks consuming placebo or treatment ice cream then a three week washout period. After, participants would switch to the other ice cream. Fecal samples were collected to examine bacteria level changes. Participants kept a log book during the two treatment periods to track gastrointestinal symptoms and record amount of ice cream consumed.

There was a not a significant difference in amount of ice cream consumed during placebo and treatment periods; t(11)= 0.31, p = 0.98. Change in reported flatulence level was not statistically significant; t(11)= -0.82, p = 0.43. There was no significant change in number of stools per day between treatment and control; t(11)= -2.09, p = 0.06. Change in Bristol scale values during placebo and treatment was not statistically significant; t(11)= -0.71, p = 0.49.There was not significant difference in the Bifidobacterium bifido values during treatment (M=47.13, SD=103.22) and control (M=24.11, SD=80.29); t(12)= 1.72, p = 0.11. Synbiotic ice cream could be an effective carrier for probiotics and prebiotics. Consumption did not cause an increase in gastrointestinal symptoms. The results of the bacteria level change were not significant. Further research is needed.

Advisor: Julie Albrecht