Tendencies and Challenges in Worldwide Scientific Research on Probiotics

  • José Luis Aleixandre-Tudó
  • Lourdes Castelló-Cogollos
  • José Luis AleixandreEmail author
  • Rafael Aleixandre-Benavent


The central goal of this study was to analyze scientific trends in the research on probiotics, including the number of papers, funding, country collaborations, and most cited publications. The study makes use of bibliometric and social network analysis of papers included in the Science Citation Index Expanded from the Web of Science database. A total of 7221 papers were retrieved, from which 64% were funded papers. Papers were published in journals covering several areas, such as Food Science & Technology, Microbiology, Biotechnology and Applied Microbiology, Nutrition & Dietetics and Agriculture, and Dairy & Animal Science. Coword analysis shows the relationships between microorganisms, diseases, physiological phenomena, and other key words related to food, population, or type of study. The USA appeared as the world leader in the number of articles produced (n = 919), followed by China (n = 689), India (n = 633), and Brazil (n = 506). The most cited papers related to the consensus on the scope and appropriate use of the term probiotic, its effects on the prevention and treatment of some intestinal diseases, its effects on the suppression of immune disorders, the role of probiotics and prebiotics in obesity, the assessment of psychotropic-like properties, and the application for type 2 diabetes.


Scientific research Probiotics International collaboration Journals Hot papers 



LCC and RAB are funded by Spanish Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness (CSO2015-65594-C2-2-R0).

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

The authors do not have a financial relationship with the organization that sponsored the research.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • José Luis Aleixandre-Tudó
    • 1
  • Lourdes Castelló-Cogollos
    • 2
    • 3
  • José Luis Aleixandre
    • 4
    Email author
  • Rafael Aleixandre-Benavent
    • 3
    • 5
  1. 1.Department of Viticulture and OenologyStellenbosch UniversityStellenboschSouth Africa
  2. 2.Departamento de Sociologia y Antropología SocialUniversidad de ValenciaValenciaSpain
  3. 3.UISYS, Unidad Mixta de InvestigaciónCSIC-Universidad de ValenciaValenciaSpain
  4. 4.Instituto de Ingeniería de Alimentos para el Desarrollo (IIAD)Universidad Politécnica de ValenciaValenciaSpain
  5. 5.Ingenio (CSIC-UPV)UISYS (CSIC-Universidad de Valencia)ValenciaSpain

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