Postbiotic is a term derived from the Greek for ‘post’, meaning after, and ‘bios’,
meaning life. Further, the ‘biotic’ family of terms (probiotics, prebiotics, synbiotics and postbiotics) coalesces around microbes (or their substrates) .
Therefore, the term postbiotic appropriately refers to substances derived after the microorganisms are no longer alive, or, in other words, inanimate, dead or inactivated. The microbes comprising a postbiotic may be inanimate, intact cells or may be structural fragments of microbes, such as cell walls.
Many preparations of postbiotics also retain microbe-produced substances,
such as metabolites, proteins, or peptides, which may contribute to the overall health effect
conferred by a postbiotic, but such components are not essential to a postbiotic.
A postbiotic must be derived from a well-defined microorganism or combination of microorganisms for which genomic sequences are known and prepared using a delineated technological process of biomass production and inactivation, which can be reliably reproduced.