In 1980, brothers Earl and Derek McLaren partnered to begin a business farming potatoes on their family farm near Carberry, Manitoba. As their experience grew and operations expanded, scientific studies linking digestion resistant starch ‘prebiotics’ to gut health began to emerge. Prebiotics are fermentable substances in food that promote health through beneficial changes in the gut microbiome. Earl and Derek continued potato farming until 2002, when they bought a manufacturing facility and began their journey towards providing the highest quality prebiotic.
With the goal of improving human health, MSPrebiotics Inc. established a science-based program to develop prebiotics. This involved collaborating with researchers at the Richardson Centre for Functional Foods and Nutraceuticals, the University at Buffalo, the University of Manitoba, and the St. Boniface Albrechtsen Research Centre. Early studies were based not on mice, but on swine – the best pre-clinical model for studying gut health. Promising findings in swine led to provisional patents being filed and several publications. These results were the motivation to move forward and conduct a human clinical trial, which established that MSPrebiotic® digestion resistant starch is truly a prebiotic, stimulating growth of healthy bacteria while promoting various health benefits. Further patents and publications are expected from ongoing research and development.