This probiotic came from a flower and was grown in juice

Juice Press' new vegan gut-health supplement has some really interesting origins. Think European Snowdrop flowers in Bulgaria.
(Photo: Juice Press)
(Photo: Juice Press)

Here’s a phrase you don’t normally see on product labels when searching for supplements to maintain a healthy gut: “Born on a flower & grown in juice.”

But that’s exactly how Juice Press is presenting its newest product, Proviotic, a vegan probiotic that was made by sourcing bacteria extracted from the leaves of European Snowdrop flowers in Bulgaria (really) and then growing it in carrot and pea juice made with GMO-free produce from small farms.

“The name of the product is new, but the history of this bacteria and the company in Bulgaria growing it is extremely old,” says Juice Press lead investor Michael Karsch, who was tipped off by a business partner about the “preeminent player in good bacteria in Bulgaria.”

Juice Press founder Marcus Antebi is notoriously obsessed with the quality of ingredients and processes that go into his juice production, so it’s no surprise that his first foray into supplements would go this way. Karsch says the team was inspired by the lack of true vegan options when it came to probiotics, since most start with bacteria sourced from the human gut or mouth and many grow the bacteria in dairy, where it thrives (hence, yogurt!).

“There are some people calling it vegan who are growing it in milk or dairy and then extracting the dairy after and calling it vegan. Other people are getting it from the human mouth and calling it vegan. We just keep it really simple,” Karsch explains (if you can call Bulgarian Snowdrop flowers simple…). “As a plant-based company, we don’t feel comfortable selling something from a human origin, we feel comfortable with a plant origin.”

And Karsch says the vegan probiotics that are on the market tend to grow their bacteria in soy. With juice as the “soil,” the end result is naturally free of major allergens.

Juice Press has been commissioning lots of research on Proviotic’s efficacy to further establish its quality, and it’s currently sold in the New York stores and online ($40).  You’ll also find it in the two Vital Force smoothies at the shops, and we wouldn’t be surprised if it started popping up on more of the bottles’ ingredients lists, soon.—Lisa Elaine Held

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