, Volume 6, Issue 2, pp 133-138

Effect of skim milk-alginate beads on survival rate of bifidobacteria

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In this study, an attempt was made to increase the survival rate of bifidobacteria entrapped in alginate in the gastrointestinal tract, and to investigate the potential industrial applications, for example lyophilized capsules and yogurt. First, the protective effect of various food additives on bifidobacterial survivability was determined after exposure to simulated gastric juices and bile salts. The additives used in this study were skim milk (SM), poly dextrose (PD), soy fiber (SF), yeast extract (YE), chitosan (CS), κ-carageenan (κ-C) and whey, which were added at 0.6% concentration (w/v) to 3% alginate-bifidobacterial solution. In the simulated gastric juices and bile salts, the protective effect of 0.6% skim milk-3% alginate (SM-A) beads on the survival rate of bifidobacteria proved to be higher than the other additives. Second, the hydrogen ion permeation was detected through SM-A vessel without bifidobacterial cells at different SM concentrations (0.2%, 0.4%, 0.6%, 0.8%, and 1.0%). There were no differences in terms of the pH decrease in SM-A vessels at 0.6%, 0.8%, and 1.0% (w/v) SM concentrations. The survival rate of bifidobacteria in SM-A beads would appear to be related to the SM buffering capacity against hydrogen ions and its tendency to reduce the pore size of bead. In this experiment, the survival rate of bifidobacteria entrapped in beads containing 0.6% SM showed the highest viability after exposure to simulated gastric juices for 3 h, thereby indicating that 0.6% SM is the optimum concentration for 3% alginate bead preparation. Third, the effect of SM-A beads on the freeze-drying and yogurt storage for 10 days was investigated. SM-A beads were found to be more efficient for freeze drying and yogurt storage than untrapped cells and the alginate bead. Consequently, the survival rate of bifidobacteria entrapped in SM-A beads was increased in simulated gastric juices, bile salts and probiotic products such as lyophilized capsules and yogurt, SM-A beads can be expected to produce high value probiotic products.