Unilever UK has claimed the launch of the first probiotic ice lolly, the latest edition to its Walls Milk Time range.

The Milk & Strawberry probiotic lolly has been introduced to allow parents to "reward their children" with a healthy treat.

Yet earlier this month, a study commissioned by UK medical journal The Lancet questioned the health benefits of probiotics, claiming under certain circumstances they could be "deadly" - a notion Unilever UK was keen to dismiss.

"We are aware of the recent study and have taken notice of it," said a spokesperson for Walls. "The safety of products containing probiotics is not under discussion due to the outcome of this study.

"The study was performed with a very special group of patients with life threatening pancreatitis. The administration of probiotics was not comparable with the normal consumption of probiotics containing products. Probiotics have been consumed safely for many years."