I fermented cereals thanks to Propionibacterium freudenreichii in co-culture with Lactobacillus brevis they can provide our body with significant levels of Vitamin B12.
This is what emerges from a recent study that set out to find cheaper alternatives to food fortification devoid of this precious vitamin, which usually occurs through a biotechnological process.
La Vitamin B12 it is in fact a micronutrient present almost exclusively in foods of animal origin. Those who follow a vegetarian or vegan diet, which excludes the consumption of meat, fish, eggs, milk and derivatives, may have significant deficiencies in vitamin B12 over time.
For this reason, the need has arisen to develop enriched foods of vegetable origin, but the chemical synthesis of vitamin B12 requires a complicated and expensive procedure.
The researchers then tested the levels of B12 within refined and whole wheat flours, using bacterial cultures of P. freudenreichii and Lactobacillus brevis.
P. freudenreichii is the only food microorganism capable of produce vitamin B12, but because it has a low growth rate and is sensitive to changes in pH, until now it was mainly used on sterilized foods.
However, the sterilization of cereals alters their technological properties. The researchers therefore added another bacterium, Lactobacillus brevis, to ensure microbial safety without having to resort to sterilization.
Flours showed a high B12 content already after three days of fermentation and a further increase was recorded using wholemeal flours and acting on the pH.
The process of fermentation has made it possible to significantly enrich, in addition to wheat flour, other cereals, pseudo cereals and legumes. The highest production was found after the fermentation of the rice bran, followed by the buckwheat bran.
As a commonly consumed staple food, i cereals they are excellent vehicles for enrichment with micronutrients.
The researchers concluded that using P. freudenreichii and appropriate co-culture, it is possible to provide sufficient vitamin B12 to plant-based foods without compromising their quality and safety.
Fermented foods: what they are, all the benefits and a list of the more or less known
Great news for vegetarian and vegan that in the future they will perhaps have complete and safe plant foods, capable of satisfying the needs of all micronutrients, including vitamin B12.
Reference source: Helda
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