Friendly Bacteria Help with Healthy Soy Diet, Researcher Discovers

November 12, 2008

( -- Soy is a staple of the Asian diet. Here in America, soy is considered a healthy addition to a diet, but sometimes it is not so easy on the stomach. Now, a University of Missouri researcher believes she has the answer: freeze-dried probiotic microcapsules.

“Soy foods are recognized as healthy food; however, intestinal bloating, cramping and flatulence can offset the favorable qualities of soy,” said Azlin Mustapha, associate professor of food science in the MU College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources.

Mustapha believed there was a better way for people in North America to enjoy the benefits of soy as people in Asian countries have done since ancient times. In her new research she found a holistic, natural solution in probiotics, friendly bacteria that already exist in the human intestinal tract.

“We took selected probiotics that were very effective at reducing the undesirable intestinal symptoms, encapsulated the friendly bacteria in a gel to protect the product over time and then freeze-dried the gel,” Mustapha said. “We then had a powdery-type ingredient with live bacteria that could be added to food.”

The product was added to soy protein energy bars. Taste testers detected no difference in the bars without the probiotic product, bars with the freeze-dried product in microscopic capsules or bars with the freeze-dried product not encapsulated.

“We are now getting a healthy triple whammy,” Mustapha said. “Soy is a functional food that is one step higher than the usual healthy foods, and probiotics reduce the negative side effects, provide health benefits and fight potential food-borne infections.”

Because it is a dry product, the shelf life is quite high and the bacteria remained active during a moderate period of time.

“It is a very important part of food science to create a novel, healthful and beneficial product,” Mustapha said. “There are no soy energy bars on the market today that contain probiotics, making this a novel product.”

Her research was recently presented at the annual meeting of the Institute of Food Technologists.

Provided by University of Missouri

Explore further: Algae, quinoa, legumes top list of alternatives protein choices

Related Stories

China's hunger for soya more animal than vegetable

September 17, 2013

China is the biggest soya consumer in the world, but demand driven by the increasingly wealthy country's voracious appetite for meat and fish raised on the product, rather than tofu or soy sauce.

Soy May Reduce the Risk of Colorectal Cancer

February 3, 2009

A new study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition explores how soyfood consumption may lower the risk of colorectal cancer, or cancer of the colon or rectum, in postmenopausal women. According to the National ...

Recommended for you

The dark side of Nobel prizewinning research

October 4, 2015

Think of the Nobel prizes and you think of groundbreaking research bettering mankind, but the awards have also honoured some quite unhumanitarian inventions such as chemical weapons, DDT and lobotomies.

How much for that Nobel prize in the window?

October 3, 2015

No need to make peace in the Middle East, resolve one of science's great mysteries or pen a masterpiece: the easiest way to get yourself a Nobel prize may be to buy one.

Search for Egypt's Nefertiti gains new momentum (Update)

September 29, 2015

The search for ancient Egypt's Queen Nefertiti in an alleged hidden chamber in King Tut's tomb gained new momentum as Egypt's Antiquities Minister said Tuesday he is now more convinced a queen's tomb may lay hidden behind ...


Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.