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Bioactive peptides in dairy products


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Bioactive peptides are hydrolysates with specific amino acid sequences that exert a positive physiological influence on the body. They are inert within the native protein, but once cleaved from the native protein by microbial or added enzymes and/or gastrointestinal enzymes during the digestive process, they apply their beneficial traits. Dairy products, particularly fermented products, are potential sources of bioactive peptides: several of them possess extra-nutritional physiological functions that qualify them to be classified under the ‘Functional Foods’ label. Biological peptides in milk, the methods of their generation and their prevalence in dairy products are reviewed along with the reported health benefits and safety aspects.