BACKGROUND: Soy products have attracted much attention lately as carriers for probiotics. This study was aimed at enhancing the growth of probiotics in soymilk via supplementation with prebiotics.
RESULTS:Lactobacillus sp. FTDC 2113, Lactobacillus acidophilus FTDC 8033, Lactobacillus acidophilus ATCC 4356, Lactobacillus casei ATCC 393, Bifidobacterium FTDC 8943 and Bifidobacterium longum FTDC 8643 were evaluated for their viability and growth characteristics in prebiotic-supplemented soymilk. In the presence of fructooligosaccharides (FOS), inulin, mannitol, maltodextrin and pectin, all strains showed viability exceeding 7 log10 colony-forming units mL−1 after 24 h. Their growth was significantly (P < 0.05) increased on supplementation with maltodextrin, pectin, mannitol and FOS. Additionally, supplementation with FOS, mannitol and maltodextrin increased (P < 0.05) the production of lactic acid. Supplementation with FOS and maltodextrin also increased the α-galactosidase activity of probiotics, leading to enhanced hydrolysis and utilisation of soy oligosaccharides. Finally, prebiotic supplementation enhanced the utilisation of simpler sugars such as fructose and glucose in soymilk.
CONCLUSION: Supplementation with prebiotics enhances the potential of soymilk as a carrier for probiotics. Copyright © 2009 Society of Chemical Industry