“Live and active cultures” is a great way to sum up the reasons fermented milk has been so popular with health-conscious consumers. According to Mintel, 44% of yogurt drinkers choose yogurt or yogurt drinks because they consider them healthier than other snacks.
There is a lot to be said about the diversity of the dairy-culture community. The bacteria that is good for consumers might not be the same as those that will optimize the texture of Greek-style yogurt. While fermented dairy’s rise in popularity is great news for traditional dairy cultures as well as probiotics, the field’s diversity can create challenges and opportunities for both probiotics and dairy cultures, noted Peggy Steele, DuPont Nutrition & Health Madison, Wis.
We gathered industry experts to refresh our knowledge on the various organisms and their implications for active and live means.
Dairy Foods: What does it mean when consumers see “live, active cultures” on yogurt containers or kefir bottles?
Steele: The pasteurized milk will be converted to the live or viable organisms Lactobacillus Bulgaricus and Streptococcus Thermophilus during fermentation. This fermentation is what gives yogurt its unique flavor and texture.
Dairy foods are there any other organisms?
Mirjana Curic-Bawden, Chr. Hansen, Milwaukee. Yogurt must be fermented using L. bulgaricus and S. thermophilus. The Code of Federal Regulations in the United States allows for the addition of other lactic acids bacteria to yogurt. This includes Lactobacillus acidophilus or Bifidobacterium species sp., L.casei or paracasei and L. rhamnosus. Kefir, buttermilk, and other cultured dairy products can be fermented using a mixture of different species lactic acid bacteria such as Lactococcus Lactis spp. Lactococcus Lactis spp., lactis and cremoris. lactis biovar lactis diacetylactis Leuconostoc Sp., different Lactobacilli, and so forth.
Dairy Foods: That’s quite a crowd. These bacteria are the “good gut bugs” consumers love. What exactly are “good gut bugs?”
Curic-Bawden is a vague term that has been used throughout the industry’s history. It could be probiotics as I understand it, or other definitions such as “bugs that don’t harm” would apply. However, this would include all cultures fermenting foods like yogurt, buttermilk and cheese.
Dairy foods: What health benefits can common dairy cultures offer?
Steele: Lactobacillus delbrueckii subspecies bulgaricus and S. The effects of thermophilus on digestive health have not been proven. It has been shown that these organisms can be beneficial to those who have trouble digesting lactose.
Dairy foods: What are they?
Curic-Bawden: About 5% of milk contains lactose. Part of the lactose in milk is converted to lactic acid during fermentation. This reduces the lactose level by about 4%. This makes it easier to digest milk for lactose intolerant people. S. thermophilus (yogurt bacteria) and L. bulgaricus (legumes) are also killed in the upper gastrointestinal system by enzymes, bile salts, and acid. They also release intracellular enzymes that aid in lactose digestion.
The benefits of other cultures, species, or particular strains may be greater, such as increasing the amount of certain vitamins. However, there is no evidence that yogurt has any additional functionality in terms of gastrointestinal health and immunity.
Mike Bush, Ganeden Biotech Mayfield Heights, Ohio. Some starter cultures may have some advantages, but it all depends on the strain. L. bulgaricus, S. The thermophilus bacteria are used to ferment milk. They are not considered to be beneficial for health.
Dairy Foods – I think that’s the right time to talk about probiotics. What exactly are they?
Steele: Probiotics can be defined as live microorganisms that are administered in sufficient amounts to confer health benefits on the host. Probiotics can be described as good bacteria at their most basic level. However, not all bacteria is good for your health. Probiotic benefits are usually linked to specific strains or types of bacteria, and a particular dose — that is the amount of probiotic bacteria per meal.
Curic-Bawden – Just because an organism is a member of a specific species doesn’t mean that it’s a Probiotic. Probiotic strains are often known by scientific or trade names. These include L. acidophilus BB-12 and L. casei 431. Nevertheless, most probiotic strains that have been documented belong to one of these species: L. acidophilus or Bifidobacterium; L. casei, L. colobus, or L. coli. paracasei andL. rhamnosus. To support a health benefit, they must also have high-quality documentation.
Dairy Foods: What can the latest science say about these health benefits for dairy foods?
Steele: Probiotics can provide regularity, pain relief or bloating relief. Bifidobacterium HN019 is a probiotic that promotes digestive health. It was found to reduce transit time by 30%, and to cause bloating and pain relief. Bifidobacterium Lactis BI-04, which is a probiotic that helps with immune function, has been shown in 27% of healthy adults to decrease the risk of upper-respiratory tract infections. These benefits are not available for traditional yogurt starter cultures.
Recent studies have shown that certain bacteria species can influence areas previously unknown, including body weight, stress response, and skin disorders. A focus has been placed on each component of the microbiota within the gut. Recent findings have shown that it is important to see it as a complex interconnected ecosystem.
- Bush: Researchers are examining protein utilization, athletic recovery and autism.
Dairy Foods: These benefits, whether they are proven or not, cannot be achieved without a specific amount of dairy foods.
Curic-Bawden is yes. To confer health benefits, probiotics must be in sufficient quantities. The exact number of probiotics required to confer a health benefit is not known. This number is based on clinical data and can vary depending on the strain. It ranges from 1-10 billion CFU [colony-forming unit] per serving. At the end of the shelf-life, the effective cell count must be present in the product.
- Dairy Foods – Technically speaking, how many bacteria must be and live to be considered “live and active”.
Curic-Bawden – The National Yogurt Association has a standard that states that a product must contain 100 million CFU/g during manufacturing. This is very easy. It takes approximately 1 billion CFU/g to produce enough acid in milk to acidify it to pH 4.60. A milk base with more protein will require more acid, so the russian cream backwoods counts may be slightly higher. Counts will decrease if the milk is stored in a refrigerator. It all depends on the culture, other ingredients, and storage conditions.