Stahl Explains: What are probiotics for leather?

Stahl Explains: What are probiotics for leather?

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January 7th, 2021

Since 2016 Stahl has been commercializing the “Proviera® - Probiotics for leather™” product range in the leather industry. But what are “Probiotics”? What contribution can Probiotics make in leather manufacturing?

Let’s start from the beginning.

Though microbes are often associated with disease and decomposition, humans have been using them throughout our existence to process fermented food and beverages, like bread, cheese, yogurt, sauerkraut, kefir, salami, kombucha, and, of course, beer and wine.

Probiotics are microbes; live bacteria and yeasts that can improve human health. Unlike most commonly known pathogen bacteria, probiotics can digest and convert food into nutrients that protect us from illnesses caused by unwanted microorganisms. Yogurts often contain probiotic species like lactobacillus or bifidus, among others, and these will be listed on the ingredients label.

In the last century, microbiology was successfully developed and commercialized in industrial applications, like medicine, food processing industry, agriculture and chemicals. Probiotics were a significant part of this technology, and they still have huge potential in industrial applications.

Biochemistry brings together biology and chemistry to create natural chemicals, via a safer process that uses fewer resources and produces less waste. Fermentation is a biochemical process induced by microorganisms that split complex natural compounds into relatively simple substances, known as metabolites. Many properties of metabolites have found to be beneficial for human health, and they are used in agriculture, animal care, soil remediation, water treatment and cosmetics.

Fermentation is a highly sustainable manufacturing process:


“Proviera® - Probiotics for leather™" uses probiotic strains to produce metabolites that behave as wetting, dispersing and degreasing agents in the leather process. Tanners need these agents to prepare hides and skins in their tanning operations. These probiotic-derived metabolites can substitute traditional fossil fuel-based agents used in the leather process, and therefore contribute to a cleaner, safer process for workers and a reduced environmental footprint. 

Organic Acids, Antioxidants and Bio-Cleaners are needed to ensure the quality of the hides:

Proviera® - Probiotics for leather™ does not require any process changes in tannery operations. They can be used as drop-in substitutes to surfactants, or as auxiliaries with existing Stahl Be Tan®, Stahl Easy White Tan®, Stahl Densodrin®-Densotan® and Stahlite® solutions. Proviera® - Probiotics for leather™ are compliant with the ZDHC MRSL 2.0 and are the only tannery chemicals certified by the National Sanitary Foundation (NSF), a globally trusted independent public health and safety organization that tests and certifies chemicals for food and beverages processors. Aligned with our commitment to accelerating the substitution of fossil fuel-based raw materials with Renewable Carbon resources, Stahl’s probiotic technology uses only biomass raw materials, thereby reducing greenhouse gas emissions and minimizing the impact on global warming.

Proviera® Probiotics for Leather Platform Technology:

Note: Stahl is the exclusive global distributor of Proviera® in the leather industry. Proviera® - Probiotics for leather™ is a registered trademark of SCD Probiotics.

Are you looking for more information?

Please get in touch with your relevant contact within Stahl:

Stahl Explains: What are probiotics for leather?
Michael Costello
Group Director Environment, Social & Governance