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Fermented soy drink with increased estrogenic activity

 

Fermented foods are receiving growing attention for their health promoting properties. In particular, there is a growing demand for plant-based fermented foods as dairy alternatives. Considering that soy is a vegetal food rich in nutrients and a source of the phytoestrogen isoflavones, the aim of the study published in Food Research International journal, was to select safe food microorganisms with the ability to ferment a soy drink resulting in a final product with an increased estrogenic activity and improved functional properties. 

Italian Researchers used milk kefir grains, a dairy source of microorganisms with proven health-promoting properties, as a starting inoculum for a soymilk. After 14 passages of daily inoculum in fresh soy drink, they isolated four lactic acid bacterial strains: Lactotoccus lactis subsp. lactis K03, Leuconostc pseudomesenteroides K05, Leuconostc mesenteroidesK09 and Lentilactobacillus kefiri K10. Isolated strains were proven to be safe for human consumption according to the assessment of their antibiotic resistance profile and comparative genomics. Furthermore, functional characterization of the bacterial strains demonstrated their ability to ferment sugars naturally present in soybeans and produce a creamy texture. In addition, they demonstrated, by means of a yeast-based bioluminescence reporter system, that the two strains belonging to the genus Leuconostoc increased the estrogenic activity of the soybean drink. 

In conclusion, the proposed application of the bacterial strains characterized in this study meets the growing demand of consumers for health-promoting vegetal food alternatives to dairy products. 

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