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Significance of Fermented Food in Nutrition and Food Science



Fermenting foods can make poorly digested, reactive foods into health giving foods. The process of fermentation destroys many of the harmful microorganisms and chemicals in foods and adds beneficial bacteria. These bacteria produce new enzymes to assist in the digestion. Foods that benefit from fermentation are soy products, dairy products, grains, and some vegetables. The beneficial effect of fermented food which contains probiotic organism consumption includes: improving intestinal tract health, enhancing the immune system, synthesizing and enhancing the bioavailability of nutrients, reducing symptoms of lactose intolerance, decreasing the prevalence of allergy in susceptible individuals, and reducing risk of certain cancers. This article provides an overview of the different starter cultures and health benefits of fermented food products, which can be derived by the consumers through their regular intake. Keywords: Fermentation; Fermented food; Starter cultures; Probiotics; Nutritional benefits. © 2014 JSR Publications. ISSN: 2070-0237 (Print); 2070-0245 (Online). All rights reserved. doi: J. Sci. Res. 6 (2), 373-386 (2014)
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J. Sci. Res. 6 (2), 373-386 (2014)
Significance of Fermented Food in Nutrition and Food Science
M. N. Hasan1,*, M. Z. Sultan2, and M. Mar-E-Um3
1Institute of Nutrition and Food Science, University of Dhaka, Dhaka-1000, Bangladesh
2Centre for Advanced Research in Sciences, University of Dhaka, Dhaka-1000, Bangladesh
3Food and Nutrition Department, Khulna City Corporation Women's College, Khulna University,
Khulna, Bangladesh
Received 8 October 2013, accepted in final revised form 2 April 2014
Fermenting foods can make poorly digested, reactive foods into health giving foods. The
process of fermentation destroys many of the harmful microorganisms and chemicals in
foods and adds beneficial bacteria. These bacteria produce new enzymes to assist in the
digestion. Foods that benefit from fermentation are soy products, dairy products, grains, and
some vegetables. The beneficial effect of fermented food which contains probiotic organism
consumption includes: improving intestinal tract health, enhancing the immune system,
synthesizing and enhancing the bioavailability of nutrients, reducing symptoms of lactose
intolerance, decreasing the prevalence of allergy in susceptible individuals, and reducing
risk of certain cancers. This article provides an overview of the different starter cultures and
health benefits of fermented food products, which can be derived by the consumers through
their regular intake.
Keywords: Fermentation; Fermented food; Starter cultures; Probiotics; Nutritional benefits.
© 2014 JSR Publications. ISSN: 2070-0237 (Print); 2070-0245 (Online). All rights reserved.
doi: J. Sci. Res. 6 (2), 373-386 (2014)
1. Introduction
Fermentations occur when microorganisms consume susceptible organic substrates as part
of their own metabolic processes. Such interactions are fundamental to the decomposition
of natural materials, and to the ultimate return of chemical elements to the soil and air
without which life could not be sustained. Currently the term fermentation refers to
breakdown of carbohydrate and carbohydrate like materials under either anaerobic or
aerobic conditions. The term fermented foods is used to describe a special class of food
products characterized by various kinds of carbohydrate breakdown in the presence of
probiotic microorganisms; but seldom is carbohydrate the only constituent acted upon [1].
* Corresponding author:
Significance of Fermented Food
Most fermented foods contain a complex mixture of carbohydrates, proteins, fats, and so
on; undergoing modification simultaneously, or in some sequence, under the action of a
variety of microorganisms and enzymes. In addition to the roles of fermentation in
preservation and providing variety to the diet, there are further important consequences of
fermentation. Several of the end products of food fermentation, particularly acids and
alcohols, are inhibitory to the common pathogenic microorganisms that may find their
way into foods, e.g. inability of Clostridium botulinum to grow and produce toxin at pH
values of ≤4.6. When microorganisms ferment food constituents, they yield energy in the
process and increase in numbers. To the extent that food constituents are oxidized, their
remaining energy potential for human decreases [1]. Compounds that are completely
oxidized by fermentation to such end products as CO2 and water retain no further energy
value. Some of the beneficial effect of fermented food which contains probiotic organism
consumption include: (i) improving intestinal tract health; (ii) enhancing the immune
system, synthesizing and enhancing the bioavailability of nutrients; (iii) reducing
symptoms of lactose intolerance, decreasing the prevalence of allergy in susceptible
individuals; and (iv) reducing risk of certain cancers. The mechanisms by which
probiotics exert their effects are largely unknown, but may involve modifying gut pH,
antagonizing pathogens through production of antimicrobial compounds, competing for
pathogen binding and receptor sites as well as for available nutrients and growth factors,
stimulating immunomodulatory cells, and producing lactase. The fermenting organisms
include LAB (Lactic acid bacteria) such as Leuconostoc, Streptococcus, Lactobacillus,
Enterococcus, Aerococcus and Pediococcus spp. [2, 3]. The yeasts isolated are mainly of
the species Saccharomyces, Kluyeromyces and Debaryomyces [4]. Moulds have been used
mainly in milk and cheese fermentation and include Penicillium, Mucor, Geotrichium, and
Rhizopus species [5, 6]. Some of the microorganisms isolated from fermented food are,
however, yet to be identified. In all the foods and beverages examined, LAB is the
dominant microorganisms, and therefore, lactic acid fermentation is considered as the
major contributor to the beneficial characteristics observed in fermented foods. The
numerous fermented food products in Asia can be categorized into five groups: (1)
fermented soybean products, (2) fermented fish products, (3) fermented vegetable
products, (4) fermented bread and porridges, and (5) alcoholic beverages. Probiotics are
involved in all of these fermentations to a varying extent, having either positive or
negative effects on the eventual product. Nutrition is known to influence the heath and can
thereby modulate resistance to infection. So, our objective of this study is to assess the
influence of a fermented food in health of the volunteers.
2. Health Benefit of Fermented Food
2.1. Probiotics
Probiotics are defined as „live microorganisms which when administered in adequate
amounts confer a health benefit on the host [7, 8]. Efficacy of probiotics on survival,
growth, biochemical changes and energy utilization performance is immense [9].
Probiotics may be consumed either as food components or as non-food preparations.
Probiotic organisms are sold mainly in fermented foods as starter organisms, and dairy
products play a predominant role as carriers of probiotics. These foods are well suited to
promoting the positive health impact in lactose intolerance, Urinary tract infections in
woman, gut function, Traveler‟s diarrhea, infantile diarrhea, antibiotic associated diarrhea,
helicobacter pylori gastritis, inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), irritable bowel syndrome
(IBS) and colorectal cancer (CRC), immune function, infant health, atopic disease and
atopic dermatitis for probiotics [7]. Health benefits of probiotics have been shown in Fig.
1 [11]. When probiotics are added to fermented foods, several factors must be considered
that may influence the ability of the probiotics to survive in the product and become active
when entering the consumer‟s gastrointestinal tract. These factors include 1) the
physiologic state of the probiotic organisms added (whether the cells are from the
logarithmic or the stationary growth phase), 2) the physical conditions of product storage
(e.g. temperature), 3) the chemical composition of the product to which the probiotics are
added (e.g. acidity, available carbohydrate content, nitrogen sources, mineral content,
water activity, and oxygen content), and 4) possible interactions of the probiotics with the
starter cultures (e.g. bacteriocin production, antagonism, and synergism). The probiotic
bacteria used in commercial products today are mainly members of the genera
Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium. Lactobacillus species from which probiotic strains
have been isolated include L. acidophilus, L. johnsonii, L. casei, L. rhamnosus, L. gasseri,
and L. reuteri. Bifidobacterium strains include B. bifidum, B. longum, and B. infantis.
Different yeast species of probiotics are Saccharomyces cerevisiae, Debaryomyces
hansenii, Torulaspora delbrueckii, Kluyveromyces lactis, Kluyveromyces marxianus and
Kluyveromyces lodderae [10].
Fig. 1. Various health benefits from fermented food (probiotics) consumption [11].
Significance of Fermented Food
2.2. Preservation
Preservation of foods by fermentation is a widely practiced from ancient time [12].
Fermentation ensures not only increased shelf life and microbiological safety of a food but
also make some foods more digestible and in the case of cassava fermentation reduces
toxicity of the substrate. Although many fermentation processes traditionally dependent
on inoculation from a previous batch starter cultures were available for many commercial
processes such as cheese manufacture thus ensuring consistency of process and product
quality. It is anticipated that the contribution of the advances in lactic acid bacteria &
certain yeast research towards improvement of strains for use in food fermentation will
benefit both the consumer and the producer.
2.3. Flavor enhancement
Fermentation makes the food palatable by enhancing its aroma and flavor. These
organoleptic properties make fermented food more popular than the unfermented one in
terms of consumer acceptance [13]. However, the specific mechanisms by which flavor
generated are still subject to investigation.
2.4. Improvement of nutritional quality
Fermented foods can be more nutritious than their unfermented counterparts. This can
come about in at least three different ways. Microorganisms not only are catabolic,
breaking down more complex compounds, but they also are anabolic and synthesize
several complex vitamins and other growth factors. The second important way in which
fermented foods can be improved nutritionally has to do with the liberation of nutrients
locked into plant structures and cells by indigestible materials. This is especially true in
the case of certain grains and seeds. Milling process do much to release nutrients from
such items by physically rupturing cellulosic and hemicellulosic structures surrounded the
endosperm, which is rich in digestible carbohydrates and proteins. Crude milling,
however, practiced in many less developed regions, often is inadequate to release the full
nutritional value of such plant products; even after cooking; some of the entrapped
nutrients may remain unavailable to the digestive process of humans. Fermentation,
especially by certain bacteria, yeast and molds, breaks down indigestible coatings and cell
walls both chemically and physically. A third mechanism by which fermentation can
enhance nutritional value, especially of plant materials, involves enzymatic splitting of
cellulose, hemicellulose, and related polymers that are not digestible by humans into
simpler sugars and sugar derivatives. Cellulosic materials in fermented foods can be
nutritionally improved for humans by the action of microbial enzymes [1]. A number of
foods especially cereals are poor in nutritional value, and they constitute the main staple
diet of the low income populations. However, lactic acid bacteria (LAB) and yeast
fermentation has been shown to improve the nutritional value and digestibility of these
foods. The acidic nature of the fermentation products enhances the activity of microbial
enzymes at a temperature range of 22-25 ºC [14]. The enzymes, which include amylases,
proteases, phytases and lipases, modify the primary food products through hydrolysis of
polysaccharides, proteins, phytates and lipids respectively. Thus, in addition to enhancing
the activity of enzymes, fermentation also reduces the levels of antinutrients such as
phytic acid and tannins in food leading to increased bioavailability of minerals such as
iron, protein and simple sugars.
2.5. Alleviation of lactose intolerance
The inability to digest lactose in lactase-deficient individuals, or milk sugar, is prevalent
worldwide. Consumption of lactose by those lacking adequate levels of lactase produced
in the small intestine can result in symptoms of diarrhea, bloating, abdominal pain and
flatulence [15]. Milk with cells of L. acidophilus aids digestion of lactose by such persons.
It has been documented that many lactose intolerant individuals are better able to consume
fermented dairy foods, such as yoghurt, with fewer symptoms than the same amount of
unfermented counterpart. Fermented food yoghurt was found to be helpful in the
digestion of lactose because the lactic acid bacteria used to make yoghurt produce lactase
and digest the lactose [16].
2.6. Improvement of immunity system
The immune system acts to protect the host from infectious agents and a variety of
noxious agents existing in the environment [17]. In principle, the immune system has two
functional divisions: the innate and the acquired. Both components involve various blood-
borne factors (complement, antibodies, and cytokines) and cells. A variety of secondary
plant metabolites including polyphenols produced from fermented food might also
contribute to the beneficial effects. Regulat is produced by cascade fermentation with
several fermentation steps involving five different strains of Lactobacillus. Polyphenols
are prominent in the resulting macerate and published data have shown the antioxidative
and immunemodulating potential in vitro. Several in vitro and in vivo studies have shown
that polyphenols such as flavonoids have antioxidative and immunomodulatory actions.
The high content of polyphenols might therefore be at responsible for the bioactive effects
of Regulat [18]. The trial was to identify a suitable marker that could be used to obtain
significant insight into the complex network of immune function, inflammation, and the
redox state and the impact of Regulat as well as fermented foods in healthy subjects [17].
There are several studies indicating the stimulation of the host cell immunity, both innate
and adaptive immunity, by S. cerevisiae var. boulardii in response to pathogen infections.
Significance of Fermented Food
2.7. Maintenance of epithelial barrier integrity
The intestinal and upper reproductive tract are lined by a continuous monolayer of
columnar epithelial cells that is responsible for maintaining the physical and functional
barrier to harmful microorganisms, such as bacteria and their products, including bacterial
toxins as well as commensal organisms. The preservation of the barrier function is
dependent on the intactness of apical plasma membrane on the epithelial cells as well as
the intercellular tight junctions. The disruption of the tight junctions can cause increased
permeability, leading to “leakiness” such that normally excluded molecules can cross the
mucosal epithelium by paracellular permeation, and could lead to inflammatory
conditions in the mucosa. Various pathogenic organisms have developed strategies to
either infect or traverse through the epithelial cells at mucosal surfaces, as part of the
strategy to establish infection in the host [19]. It has been shown that exposure of different
strains of S. cerevisiae (human epithelial colorectal adenocarcinoma cell lines) increased
the transepithelial electrical resistance (TER) across polarized monolayers of cells [18]. In
another study, infection of T84 cells with enteropathogenic E. coli reduced the monolayer
transepithelial resistance and distribution of tight-junction-associated protein Zonula
occludens was altered, which caused disruption of epithelial barrier structure [20].
2.8. Prevention of toxic effects of mycotoxins
Mycotoxins are secondary metabolites produced by fungi belonging mainly to the
Aspergillus, Penicillium and Fusarium genera. Agricultural products, food and animal
feeds can be contaminated by these toxins and lead to various diseases in humans and
livestocks [21]. Contamination of agricultural products by mycotoxins is a worldwide
dilemma. The most important mycotoxins are the aflatoxins, ochratoxins, fumonisins,
deoxynivalenol, zearalenone and trichothecenes [22]. Various fermented food
microorganisms are able to some extent and with varied efficiency to degrade mycotoxins
to less- or non-toxic products. Inhibition of mycotoxin absorption in the gastrointestinal
tract is another way to prevent the toxic effects of mycotoxins. There has been increased
interest in the use of mycotoxin binding agents, e.g. yeasts and yeast-derived from
fermented food products, which can be added to the diet to bind mycotoxins. S. cerevisiae
has the ability to bind mycotoxins [23]. The mechanism of detoxification by yeast is due
to the adhesion of mycotoxins to cell-wall components.
2.9. Bioavailability of nutrient
Beneficial functions of probiotic microorganism like yeasts are improvement of
bioavailability of minerals through the hydrolysis of phytate, folate biofortification and
detoxification of mycotoxins due to surface binding capacity of the yeast cell wall.
Nowadays, the products of modern yeast biotechnology form the backbone of many
commercially important sectors, including foods, beverages, pharmaceuticals, industrial
enzymes and others. S. cerevisiae, which according to EFSA (The European Food Safety
Authority) has a QPS (Qualified Presumption of Safety) status [24], is the most common
yeast used in food fermentation where it has shown various technological properties.
Yeasts do also play a significant role in the spontaneous fermentation of many indigenous
food products. A review on S. cerevisiae in African fermented foods has been provided by
Jespersen [25]. However, there are other reported effects such as enrichment of foods with
prebiotics as fructooligosaccharides [26], lowering of serum cholesterol [27],
antioxidative properties, antimutagenic and antitumor activities [28] etc. Additional
information on health significance and food safety of yeasts in foods and beverages can be
obtained from Fleet and Balia [31]. There is a great interest in finding yeast strains with
probiotic potential. Different yeast species such as D. hansenii, T. delbrueckii [29], K.
lactis, K. marxianus and K. lodderae have shown tolerance to passage through the
gastrointestinal tract or inhibition of enteropathogens [30]. However, S. boulardii is the
only yeast with clinical effects and the only yeast preparation with proven probiotic
efficiency in double-blind studies [31]. S. boulardii, isolated from litchi fruit in Indochina
by Henri Boulard in the 1920s, is commonly used as probiotic yeast especially in the
pharmaceutical industry and in a lyophilized form for prevention and treatment of
diarrhoea. In a study conducted by Jespersen [25] on commercial strains of S. boulardii, it
was found that the S. boulardii strains morphologically and physiologically could be
characterized as S. cerevisiae.
2.10. Folate biofortification
Folates (vitamin B9) are the essential cofactors in the biosynthesis of nucleotides and
therefore crucial for the cellular replication and growth. Plants, yeast and some bacterial
species in fermented food contain the folate biosynthesis pathway and produce natural
folates, but mammals lack the ability to synthesize folate and they are therefore dependent
on sufficient intake from the diet [23]. S. cerevisiae is a rich dietary source of native folate
and produces high levels of folate per weight [32].
Before discussing anything else the major beneficial effects of yeasts in fermented food are
given in Table 1 [33].
2.11. Biodegradation of phytate
Fermented food has the ability to biodegrade the phytic acid. Phytic acid or phytate (myo-
inositol hexakisphosphate, IP6) is the primary storage form of phosphorus in mature seeds
of plants and it is particularly abundant in many cereal grains, oilseeds, legumes, flours
and brans. Phytate has a strong chelating capacity and forms insoluble complexes with
divalent minerals of nutritional importance such as iron, zinc, calcium and magnesium.
Phytases are widespread in various microorganisms including filamentous fungi, Gram-
positive and Gram-negative bacteria and yeasts [34]. Yeasts or yeast phytases can be
applied for pre-treatment of foods to reduce the phytate contents or they can be utilized as
Significance of Fermented Food
food supplement in order to hydrolysis the phytate after digestion. The phytase activities
of yeast during bread making for reduction of phytate content of bread have been
examined [34].
Table 1. Overview of the major beneficial effects of yeasts in fermented food [33].
Yeast species
Heath effects
Probiotic effect
S. cerevisiae var. boulardii
Effect on enteric bacterial
pathogen, maintenance of
epithelial barrier integrity, anti-
inflammatory effects, effects on
immune response, trophic effects
on intestinal mucosa, clinical
effects on diarrheal diseases.
S. cerevisiae; S. kluyveri;
Schwanniomyces castellii; D. castellii;
Arxula adeninivorans;
P. anomala; P. rhodanensis;P.
Cryptococcus laurentii; Rhodotorula
T. delbrueckii; K. lactis; C. krusei
(Issatchenkia orientalis) and Candida
Nutritional importance, i.e.,
bioavailability of divalent
minerals such as iron, zink,
calcium and magnesium.
S. cerevisiae; S. bayanus; S. paradoxus;
S. pastorianus; Metschnikowia
D. melissophilus; D. vanrijiae var.
D. hansenii; P. philogaea; Kodamaea
anthophila; Wickerhamiella lipophilia;
C. cleridarum and C. drosophilae; C.
milleri and T. delbrueckii; S. exiguous
and C. lambica; P. anomala and C.
K. marxianus and C. krusei (I.
Prevention of neural tube defects
in the foetus, megaloblastic
anaemia, reduction of the risk for
cardiovascular disease, cancer and
Alzheimer's disease.
Degradation of
S. cerevisiae; Phaffia rhodozyma and
Xanthophyllomyces dendrorhous
Antitoxic in some degree.
Absorption of
S. cerevisiae
2.12. Intestinal pH balance
A healthy large intestine (or colon) has a slightly acidic pH, which tends to inhibit or
destroy putrefactive bacteria. Putrefactive bacteria can produce foul smelling wind and are
damaging to health when present in large numbers in the intestine. Naturally fermented
foods contain active Lactobacilli bacteria that produce lactic acid, and many other
beneficial bacteria and yeasts that also produce acids, which help to keep the large
intestine pH at a healthy level. An acidic pH and a healthy population of friendly bacteria
will inhibit the growth of undesirable bacteria, moulds, mould spores and yeasts,
particularly Candida [34].
2.13. Improvement of digestion and the digestibility of foods
Healthy bacteria found in naturally fermented foods produce enzymes that can break
down foods present in the intestines, thus making the nutrients easier absorption.
Furthermore, the beneficial bacteria also produce vitamins such as the water soluble
vitamin B and C, making the fermented food richer in nutrients. Yoghurt is a prime
example. It is easier to digest than the milk it is made from, and richer in water soluble
vitamins [35].
2.14. Protection against infection
Gastrointestinal infections including diarrhoea result from a change in the gut microflora
caused by an invading pathogen. It is suggested that viable lactic acid bacteria interfere
with the colonization and subsequent proliferation of food borne pathogens, thus
preventing the manifestation of infection [36]. L. bulgaricus, L. acidophilus, S.
thermophilus and B. bifidum have been implicated in this effect. The beneficial effects of
lactic acid bacteria and cultured milk products have also been attributed to their ability to
suppress the growth of pathogens either directly or through production of antibacterial
substances. Antibiotics have been reported to kill normal bacteria as well, often resulting
in disruption of the bacterial flora, leading to diarrhoea and other intestinal disturbances.
Replenishing the flora with normal bacteria during and after antibiotic therapy seems to
minimize disruptive effects of antibiotic use. Fermented food have been reported to
effective in prevention of various gastrointestinal infections [37]. There are reports of
benefits for sufferers of rotavirus infection, traveler‟s diarrhoea & antiobiotic induced
2.15. Anticarcinogenic effect
It has been reported that fermented food products can work against certain types of
cancers. Animal studies have shown that lactic acid bacteria exert anticarcinogenic effect
either by prevention of cancer initiation or by suppression of initiated cancer.
Anticarcinogenic effects of yoghurt and milk fermented with L. acidophilus have been
reported in mice. Different potential mechanisms by which lactic acid bacteria exert
antitumor effects have been suggested such as changes in faecal enzymes thought to be
involved in colon carcinogenesis, cellular uptake of mutagenic compounds, reducing the
Significance of Fermented Food
mutagenicity of chemical mutagens and suppression of tumors by improving immune
response [38].
2.16. Antihypertensive activity
Casein hydrolysate, produced by an extracellular proteinase from L. helveticus (CP790)
has been reported to show antihypertensive activity in rats. Two antihypertensive peptides
have also been purified from sour milk fermented with L. helveticus and S. cerevisiae
starter cultures. These two peptides inhibit angiotensin-converting enzyme that converts
angiotensinogen I to angiotensinogen II, which is a potent vasoconstrictor [39]. It has
been reported that consumption of certain lactobacilli, or products made from them, may
reduce blood pressure in mildly hypertensive people.
2. 17. Lowering of serum cholesterol
Reports indicate that fermented food products to have hypocholesteraemic effect. It is
suggested that intake of large quantities of fermented milk furnish factors that impair the
synthesis of cholesterol. It has been found that L. acidophilus has exhibited the ability to
lower serum cholesterol levels [40]. This promotes the potential healthful aspects of dairy
products fermented with L. acidophilus (or other lactic acid bacteria), since
hypercholestermia is considered to be one of the major factors contributing to
cardiovascular disease.
2.18. Food security and cultural importance
Fermentation technologies play an important role in ensuring the food security of millions
of people around the world, particularly marginalized and vulnerable groups [41]. This is
achieved through improved food preservation, increasing the range of raw materials that
can be used to produce fermented food products and removing anti-nutritional factors to
make food safe to eat. Moreover, there exist many examples of fermentation by-products
which can be safely fed to nutritionally supplement livestock, thereby further
strengthening the livelihood system. Well known examples include the by-products of
brewing, such as “brewers grains” and dried yeast. These provide a good source of
undegradable protein and water soluble vitamins, but need to be stored cool and fed
within a week, or otherwise ensiled, to prolong their shelf-life (FAO, 1999) [42].
Fermentation is a cheap and energy efficient means of preserving perishable raw
materials, which is accessible to even the most marginalized, landless, physically
incapacitated rural, peri-urban and urban poor. Following harvest, fruit and vegetables, for
example begin to deteriorate, especially in the humid tropics where the prevailing
environmental conditions accelerate the process of decomposition. There are several
options for preserving fresh fruit and vegetables including drying, freezing, canning and
pickling, but many of these are inappropriate for use on the small scale: for example,
small-scale canning of vegetables can have serious food safety implications given
contamination with botulism (a possibility); but freezing fruit and vegetables is not
economically viable at the small-scale [43]. Fermentation however, requires very little
sophisticated equipment, either to undertake or subsequently store the fermented product,
and has had a major impact on nutritional habits, traditions, and culture. As such,
traditional fermentation still serves as a substitute for refrigeration or otherwise
safekeeping of food, and is also directly utilized to make good of edible leftovers.
3. Discussion
There is need to educate the people on the need of consuming fermented foods for food
security and safety. Safety is of paramount importance. Personal hygiene should be
practiced to complement the overall benefits of fermented foods. The greatest drawback in
the development of fermented food products in the developing countries that many
products are produced under primitive conditions, resulting in low yield and poor quality,
including short shelf-life [44]. Other problems include the lack of appeal in the
presentation and marketing of the food products, as well as the fact that the processes are
often laborious and time-consuming. The technology needs to be improved through
research to advance its potential for food safety and nutritional value. The challenge is to
ensure that technology is used to add value to such products, such as increased shelf-life,
flavor and appealing packaging and labeling. Old ferments are not an efficient way of
preserving the LAB probiotic organisms as poor survival has been reported in these
products. Yeasts and LAB are used in preparation of human foods and beverages, where
they besides having Technological functions confer different beneficial effects on human
health and well-being. Among these, the most well known is the probiotic effect, which
has been proven for S. cerevisiae and LAB species. By choosing appropriate yeast and
LAB strains as starter cultures and using optimized food processing techniques, it is
possible to improve the nutritional value of foods in general. They do have a more diverse
enzymatic profile, appear to have a more versatile effect on the immune system, do
provide protection against pathogenic bacteria and toxic compounds by surface binding
and appear to be better suited for nutritional enrichment and delivery of bio-active
molecules. Besides, yeast is much more robust than lactic acid bacteria which make them
easier to produce and to distribute, especially in less developed areas. It is therefore
encouraged that additional efforts are placed on exploring the health beneficial effects of
fermented food.
4. Conclusion
The fermented foods offer tremendous potential for promoting health, improving nutrition
and reducing the risk of various diseases worldwide. Usually, eight reasons considered as
useful for fermented foods: (a) Fermented foods improve digestion, (b) fermented foods
restore the proper balance of bacteria in the gut, (c) raw fermented foods are rich in
Significance of Fermented Food
enzymes, (d) fermented foods actually increase the vitamin content, (e) eating fermented
foods help us to absorb the nutrients we are consuming. (f) fermented foods help to
preserve it for longer period of time, (g) fermented food is inexpensive and (h) fermented
food increases the flavor [45]. Advances in fermented food production, technology have
led to a variety of products that suit diverse cultural tastes. Infants, children, adults and
elderly can consume fermented foods for their good taste and their general nutritional
value. Those with special medical needs can turn to fermented foods to provide added
nutrition, soothe intestinal disorders, improve immune function and optimize gut ecology.
Fermented foods show particular promise in reducing the incidence of malnutrition,
lactose intolerance, diarrhea and food security. Although fermented foods are generally
safe, and in the view that certain antimicrobial factors are present, lack of standardization
in the methods used, the environment and the hygiene of the people that prepare them,
will determine the quality of the product. As evidence of the health benefits of fermented
food products mounts, and modern production makes these products available to world
populations, one can anticipate that the consumption of fermented food products, will
reach a new milestones.
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... Additionally, fermented foods often require less cooking or heating compared to their non-fermented counterparts, leading to energy savings [2]. Studies have demonstrated that fermented foods possess superior quality and higher nutritional content compared to unfermented ones, primarily due to the presence of beneficial microorganisms [3]. Fermented foods offer numerous benefits, primarily due to the active involvement of microorganisms such as bacteria, yeasts, and molds. ...
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This review presents an in-depth examination of fermented dairy products, highlighting their significance as rich sources of antimicrobial agents. Through a comprehensive study of microbial activities during fermentation, we identify and discuss the rise of bioactive elements with antimicrobial characteristics. Bacteriocins such as nisin and pediocin play a significant role, as do organic acids such as lactic and acetic acid in providing antimicrobial activity. Challenges, including the enzymes, heat and pH sensitivity of certain compounds, are also touched upon, emphasizing the need for stable delivery for consistent efficacy. Our discussion covers various compounds, including bacteriocins, organic acids, and bioactive peptides, detailing their functions, action mechanisms, and potential applications. Moreover, this review discusses the emerging role of genetic engineering in optimizing lactic acid bacteria strains and exploring the potential of genetically modified organisms in improving the production and efficacy of antimicrobial compounds in dairy products. Additionally, we emphasize the interaction between beneficial microbes and their antimicrobial byproducts and discuss strategies for enhancing the synthesis of these antimicrobial compounds. The review highlights the nutritional significance of fermented dairy items and their potential as a rich source of compounds crucial for improving food safety. Additionally, the review explores challenges and potential solutions related to the stability of these compounds, ensuring their consistent efficacy and contribution to overall well-being.
... Probiotics are effective against allergies and cancer, and also reduce blood cholesterol levels [17][18][19]29]. They beneficially improve the health of the host and are abundantly found in fermented foods [23,24,30]. For example, Weissella-a genus of gram-positive bacteria belonging to the family Lactobacillaceae-is known for its antiinflammatory, antibacterial, and antioxidant effects [31]. ...
... Microorganisms integrate nutrients like the corrosive pteroyl monoglutamic and biotin, and age complex toxic carbohydrates [7]. Some microorganisms that are found to be useful for well-being are known as probiotics and these are accessible for dietary enhancements or substances added to foods [8]. Some microorganisms act as pathogens, and they are the causal mediators of several infectious diseases. ...
... The fermented products are higher in nutritional value than the unfermented ones. Micr oor ganisms' activity plays a significant role in the fermentation process by transforming the chemical and physical properties in the raw materials (Melini et al. 2019 ) via catabolic (breaking down more complex compounds) and anabolic (synthesizing se v er al complex compounds) processes (Hasan et al. 2014 ). Functional properties of microorganisms in fermented foods such as alcohol pr oduction, or ganic acid pr oduction, peptides production, hydrolytic enzyme production and antin utriti v e compound degr adation (e .g. phytate , tannins , etc.) lead to impr ov ement of the nutritional pr operties, flavor, ar oma and texture of fermented food. ...
Rice contains numerous nutrients and biologically active compounds. The phytochemical composition of rice varies among cultivars that leads to diversities in biological activities. Fermentation is an efficient way for improving nutrient bioavailability and functional properties of raw materials. It enhances and/or synthesizes the compounds with health promoting or decreased antinutritive compounds during fermentation process. Rice-based fermented products have been reported for enhancing various biological activities including antioxidant, anti-cancer, anti-diabetes anti-wrinkle and anti-melanogenesis activities. Melanogenesis, melanin biosynthesis, is the cause of human skin pigmentation, however the accumulation of melanin leads to skin hyper-pigmentary disorders, such as freckles and melasma. In this review, the information on rice-based fermented products have been assembled to illustrate the fermented rice properties especially melanogenesis inhibition activity including functional roles of the microorganisms in the fermented rice products.
... The chemical breakdown of complex biomolecules into simple molecules by microorganisms is referred to as fermentation. The term "fermented foods" refers to a set of foods that undergo various forms of chemical breakdowns induced by probiotic microorganisms [1]. Microorganisms consume vulnerable organic material as part of their metabolic activities, resulting in fermentation. ...
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Fermented foods have been used over the centuries in various parts of the world. These foods are rich in nutrients and are produced naturally using various biological tools like bacteria and fungi. Fermentation of edible foods has been rooted in ancient cultures to keep food for preservation and storage for a long period of time with desired or enhanced nutritional values. Inflammatory diseases like rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, and chronic inflammatory pain are chronic disorders that are difficult to treat, and current treatments for these disorders fail due to various adverse effects of prescribed medications over a long period of time. Fermented foods containing probiotic bacteria and fungi can enhance the immune system, improve gastrointestinal health, and lower the risk of developing various inflammatory diseases. Foods prepared from vegetables by fermentation, like kimchi, sauerkraut, soy-based foods, or turmeric, lack proper clinical and translational experimental studies. The current review has focused on the effectiveness of various fermented foods or drinks used over centuries against inflammation, arthritis, and oxidative stress. We also described potential limitations on the efficacies or usages of these fermented products to provide an overarching picture of the research field.
... Daily consumption of these fermented milk products (150-175 g) will provide 15-20% of minimum required folate intake for an adult. Therefore, lactic acid bacteria producing important amount of folate as well as capable of surviving in the gastro intestinal system can be used as an effective probiotic to combat folate [12][13][14]. LAB can produce from 2 to 16 µg/100g folate in food matrices. Also, the addition of glutamate could increase folate production by LAB. ...
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This research is related to the application of probiotic yogurt starter and L. plantarum. The purpose of this study is related to know and comparing the quality of fermented sausages in terms of pH, aw, water content, protein content, fat and ash content so that they become healthy food and practical and easy to manufacture. Treatment with differences in the use of yogurt starter and L. plantarum respectively 0%, 1%, 2%, and 3%. The results showed that the use of yogurt starter and L. plantarum each did not provide a significant difference (P>0.05) for the value of pH, aw, moisture content, protein content, fat content, and ash content. it can be concluded that by comparison of the use of yogurt starter (which contains several types of bacteria) with L. plantarum each has differences in pH, aw, moisture content, protein content, fat content, and ash content but all are still in accordance with SNI.
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The efficacy of combined probiotics, Lactobacillus sporogenes and Saccharomyces cerevisiae (LS+SC) on survival, growth, biochemical changes and energy utilization of Macrobrachium rosenbergii post larvae (PL) was examined. Each probiotic organism was individually tested at four different concentrations (1-4%) separately. The best concentration in each probiotic species was combined and tested for its suitability in aquaculture usage. The basal diet was incorporated with probiotics, LS+SC (4:4) at five different concentrations 0% (control), 1%, 2%, 3% and 4%. These diets were fed to M. rosenbergii PL for a period of 90 days. After the feeding trail, 2% LS+SC incorporated diet had significantly (P<0.05) higher survival, WG, SGR, FCE and PER compared with other experimental groups than the control. Whereas, the FCR was significantly (P<0.05) lower in 2% LS+SC incorporated diet fed PL. Similarly the proximate composition of the protein, amino acid, carbohydrate, lipid and ash content were significantly (P<0.05) higher in 2% LS+SC incorporated diet fed PL than the control. The energy utilization parameters were significantly (P<0.05) higher in 2% LS+SC incorporated diet fed PL than the control. This study indicated that combined probiotics, LS+SC incorporated diets were beneficial for M. rosenbergii in terms of increasing growth and enhancing energy utilization performances.
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Fermented dairy products have long been an important component of nutritional diet. Historically, fermentation proc-ess involved unpredictable and slow souring of milk caused by the organisms inherently present in milk. However, modern microbiological processes have resulted in the production of different fermented milk products of higher nutri-tional value under controlled conditions. These products represent an important component of functional foods, and intense research efforts are under way to develop dairy products into which probiotic organisms are incorporated to make them more valuable. This article provides an overview of the different starter cultures and health benefits of fer-mented dairy products, which can be derived by the consumers through their regular intake.
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Besides being important in the fermentation of foods and beverages, yeasts have shown numerous beneficial effects on human health. Among these, probiotic effects are the most well known health effects including prevention and treatment of intestinal diseases and immunomodulatory effects. Other beneficial functions of yeasts are improvement of bioavailability of minerals through the hydrolysis of phytate, folate biofortification and detoxification of mycotoxins due to surface binding to the yeast cell wall.
The effects of reconstituted skim milk, and the same fermented by Lactobacillus acidophilus, were tested in rats. Rats were fed a stock diet and drinking water containing one of three milk treatments: (1) no supplementary milk; (2) 10% milk; or (3) 10% milk fermented by L. acidophilus. After 4 wk, rats receiving the fermented milk had lower (P < 0.05) serum cholesterol levels (65 mg/dl) than did the water-fed (78 mg/dl) or milk-fed (79 mg/dl) rats. Weight gain, feed intake, liver lipid contents and fecal lactobacilli counts were not different among treatment groups. Data indicate that factors influencing serum cholesterol levels were produced during fermentation of the milk.
β-D-Galactosidase (β-D-galactoside galactohydrolase, E.C., most commonly known as lactase, is one of the most important enzymes used in food processing, which catalyses the hydrolysis of lactose to its constituent monosaccharides, glucose and galactose. The enzyme has been isolated and purified from a wide range of microorganisms but most commonly used β-D-galactosidases are derived from yeasts and fungal sources. The major difference between yeast and fungal enzyme is the optimum pH for lactose hydrolysis. The application of β-D-galactosidase for lactose hydrolysis in milk and whey offers nutritional, technological and environmental applications to human life. In this review, the main emphasis has been given to elaborate the various techniques used in recent times for the production, purification, immobilization and applications of β-D-galactosidase. Copyright © 2006 Society of Chemical Industry
Summary Because of its high density of negatively charged phosphate groups, phytic acid (PA) forms very stable complexes with mineral ions rendering them unavailable for intestinal uptake. Indeed, the first step in mineral absorption requires that the mineral remains in the ionic state. As the PA content of the diet increases, the intestinal absorption of zinc, iron and calcium decreases. The inhibitory effects of PA on magnesium or copper are more controversial. Nevertheless, PA does not occur alone in foods and is often consumed with various compounds. Phytates are always present in vegetal matrix composed of fibres, minerals, trace elements and other phytomicronutrients. Thus, in order to evaluate mineral absorption from phytate-rich products, all components of diet and food interactions should be considered and it is hard to predict mineral bioavailability in such products by using only the phytate content.
The technological properties of Debaryomyces hansenii (15 strains) and Torulaspora delbrueckii (32 strains) isolated from Greek-style black olives under conditions typical for black olive fermentation were studied. Furthermore, the killer character of the strains was assessed as well as their antimicrobial action against food-borne pathogens. All strains could grow at 15°C and low pH (2.5), whereas the majority of the strains were able to grow at 10% (w/v) NaCl, assimilated d-galacturonic acid, and showed lipolytic activity. Only 33% of D. hansenii and 9% of T. delbrueckii strains could hydrolyse 1% (w/v) oleuropein. A large majority of the strains tolerated 0.3% (w/v) bile salts, which in correlation with acid resistance indicates probiotic potential. Cross-reactions between culture filtrates of D. hansenii and T. delbrueckii and 56 yeast strains isolated during spontaneous Greek-style black olive fermentation were conducted. Focusing on their lytic activity, 17 mycogenic strains were selected. Culture filtrates of the mycogenic strains inhibited strains of L. monocytogenes, B. cereus and S. typhimurium. The active substance was heat resistant (stable after heating at 100°C for 10min) as well as stable over a pH range from 4.0 to 6.5. The possible inhibition of undesirable yeast contaminants and food-borne pathogens in situ on fermented olives as well as the probiotic potential of strains used as starter adjuncts would contribute to the improvement of quality of the fermented product.
Fructooligosaccharides (FOSs) are functional food ingredients with prebiotic properties, and a recent increase in the use of oligosaccharides in the food industry has led to the search for “new” microorganisms and enzymes for the production of oligosaccharides. This paper focuses on the screening of yeasts obtained from fruits and flowers (from Brazilian tropical forests), and capable of secreting extra-cellular enzymes with high fructosyl transferase activity (FTA). The screening and isolation procedures resulted in four potentially interesting yeast strains: Candida sp. (LEB-I3), Rhodotorula sp. (LEB-U5.), Cryptococcus sp. (LEB-V2) and Rhodotorula sp. LEB-V10. All were able to produce more then 100gl−1 of FOS from a 500gl−1 sucrose solution, but only the last one, (LEB-V10), showed no hydrolytic activity with respect to the FOS produced, giving a continuous increase in FOS content up to the end of the reaction, when it was about 50% of the total carbohydrates.