Scientists attempt to make a new range of fermented milk products by fortifying them with lactic acid bacteria

If there’s one thing you can’t find in regular store-bought milk, it’s the presence of good bacteria – which have been destroyed by pasteurization. However, a study published in CyTa – Journal of Food revealed that fortifying milk with plant products that have been fermented with lactic acid bacteria could improve its nutritional value. The paper, led by researchers from the Lithuanian University of Health Sciences and the Food Institute of Kaunas University of Technology, also added that these newly established products could very well add to the diverse assortment of food products available in the market.

Researchers looked at two ingredients in the study – the Jerusalem artichoke and yellow lupin – to increase the nutritional value and the quality of dairy products.

The yellow lupin (Lupinus luteus) is a wild plant native to the Mediterranean region. Its seeds (also called lupine seeds) have been used in various food products in the area, and it’s been known to be an excellent source of proteins and essential amino acids, as well as carotenoids, tocopherols, and lecithin that are rich in antioxidants.

The Jerusalem artichoke (Helianthus tuberosus L.) is a widely available non-grain raw material rich in inulin, a fiber known to have several health benefits including supporting gut microbiota. It’s also high in potassium, iron, protein, and magnesium.

For the study, researchers collected Jerusalem artichoke tubers and lupine seeds and ground them into powder and dried. Different types of lactic acid bacteria were cultured, including Pediococcus pentosaceus KTU05-9, P. acidilactici KTU05-7, and Lactobacillus sakei KTU05-6, and plant materials were added after. After the plants were fermented overnight, these were then added to milk samples and were incubated overnight. Its physicochemical properties – such as fat, ash, and moisture content, its total concentration of carbohydrates and lactose, and its total energy value – together with its microbiological and sensory profiles, were examined for the first time, according to the researchers.

They found that milk products that were fortified with lupine seeds had better energy values, as well as total fat, protein, ash, and total carbohydrate content than those that were fermented using Jerusalem artichokes. “The products were more nutritious and had [a] lower moisture content, softer texture, and higher acidity,” the researchers wrote. These also had a better safety profile.

However, milk products that were fermented using Jerusalem artichokes were better, in terms of taste, where it was noted to be “more acceptable and palatable.” In the study, researchers noted that these milk products exhibited a higher taste pleasure, lower smoothness, and external taste compared with those fortified with lupine seeds. The type of lactic acid bacteria was also a factor to be considered as well – “Milk fermented with P. acidilactici was more acceptable because of texture and appearance,” they wrote. “In addition, the highest amount of LAB was found in milk-HT fermented with P. acidilactici compared to milk-LL [milk from lupine seed] products.”

Researchers are hopeful that their study exhibit novel ways of using fermented milk products that have a better nutrient profile, a lower lactic acid content, and a higher sensory attribute. “Continuous growth of the milk industry may depend largely upon the introduction of new milk fermented products with creative concepts, which are built on consumer appeal,” they added.

Now, if they only knew that raw milk from grass-fed cows had beneficial probiotic bacteria to begin with. (Related: Raw milk is so healthy it needs to be attacked by the sickness industry.)

To learn more about the benefits of raw milk, follow today.

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