Bifidobacterium bifidum BGN4 is a probiotic strain that has been used as a major ingredient to produce nutraceutical products and as a dairy starter since 2000. The various bio-functional effects and potential for industrial application of B. bifidum BGN4 has been characterized and proven by in vitro (i.e., phytochemical bio-catalysis, cell adhesion and anti-carcinogenic effects on cell lines, and immunomodulatory effects on immune cells), in vivo (i.e., suppressed allergic responses in mouse model and anti-inflammatory bowel disease), and clinical studies (eczema in infants and adults with irritable bowel syndrome). Recently, the investigation of the genome sequencing was finished and this data potentially clarifies the biochemical characteristics of B. bifidum BGN4 that possibly illustrate its nutraceutical functionality. However, further systematic research should be continued to gain insight for academic and industrial applications so that the use of B. bifidum BGN4 could be expanded to result in greater benefit. This review deals with multiple studies on B. bifidum BGN4 to offer a greater understanding as a probiotic microorganism available in functional food ingredients. In particular, this work considers the potential for commercial application, physiological characterization and exploitation of B. bifidum BGN4 as a whole.
Keywords: Bifidobacterium; functional foods; nutraceuticals; probiotics.