Discipline: dairy & health; Keywords: Synbiotic fermented milk, probiotics, prebiotics, Lactobacillus acidophilus, antidiabetic potential, antimicrobial activity.
The utilization of functional foods has increased since the last decade. In many instances they form part of the daily diet where they have the potential to lessen the risk of disease along with their accepted nutritional efficacy. The beneficial effects are due to the presence of physiologically active components, which have the ability to lessen the threat of chronic diseases. These components can be probiotics which are live microbes, non-pathogenic, mono- or mixed-culture preparations, which beneficially affect the host by cultivating the stability of the intestinal microbial environment, or they can be prebiotics which are specific active carbohydrates and which have the potential to enhance the growth and metabolic activities of probiotics. Probiotics and prebiotics thus have been shown to confer beneficial effects on human health and they have the potential to reduce the risk of pathogenic diseases. A third category is a ‘synbiotic’ which is a synergistic blend of probiotics and prebiotics. Keeping in mind the role of prebiotics in enhancing the growth of probiotics in fermented foods, the research of Dr A. Shafi and colleagues was planned to optimize the concentration of the prebiotic (fructooligosaccharide and isomaltooligosaccharide) in order to maximise the growth rate of the probiotic (Lactobacillus acidophilus ATCC_ 4357TM), and then to evaluate the antimicrobial activity (against Escherichia coli and Staphylococcus aureus) as well as the antidiabetic potential of the symbiotic product which was fermented milk. Their research results were published in the International Journal of Dairy Technology, Volume 72 of 2019, page 15 to 22, the title being: Antimicrobial and antidiabetic potential of symbiotic fermented milk: A functional dairy product.
The maximum growth rate (0.27 _ 0.21a cfu/mL) of Lactobacillus acidophilus ATCC_ 4357TM was observed with 2.34–2.45% of fructooligosaccharide and 2.53–2.62% of isomaltooligosaccharide. Significant antimicrobial potential of the synbiotic fermented milk was observed against Escherichia coli and Staphylococcus aureus due to the addition of prebiotics. Similarly, the final product also showed 62.9%, 71.5% and 57.0% reduction in blood glucose, urea and creatinine levels, respectively, of diabetic rabbits, when supplemented with 6% of the synbiotic fermented milk.
It was concluded that Lactobacillus acidophilus fermented milk should be able to be developed on an industrial scale by using an optimized concentration of the prebiotics fructooligosaccharide and isomaltooligosaccharide which will support maximum growth rate of the probiotic Lactobacillus acidophilus ATCC_ 4357TM. Further studies are however required to establish the effectiveness of the product against other food-borne pathogens and diseases, as well as the effectiveness of other possible combinations of different prebiotics.