Friendly Bacteria Help with Healthy Soy Diet, Researcher Discovers

Nov 12, 2008

(PhysOrg.com) -- 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: Color and texture matter most when it comes to tomatoes

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Air Umbrella R&D evolves as shield from pelting rain

32 minutes ago

A Chinese R&D team have invented an Air Umbrella which can blast water away from the umbrella's owner. They explain how their invention deflects rain: "Air is everywhere on the earth. The flowing air can ...

Weather history time machine

42 minutes ago

During the 1930s, North America endured the Dust Bowl, a prolonged era of dryness that withered crops and dramatically altered where the population settled. Land-based precipitation records from the years ...

Recommended for you

Color and texture matter most when it comes to tomatoes

5 hours ago

A new study in the Journal of Food Science, published by the Institute of Food Technologists (IFT), evaluated consumers' choice in fresh tomato selection and revealed which characteristics make the red fruit most appealing.

How the lotus got its own administration

9 hours ago

Actually the lotus is a very ordinary plant. Nevertheless, during the Qing dynasty (1644-1911) a complex bureaucratic structure was built up around this plant. The lotus was part of the Imperial Household, ...

What labels on textiles can tell us about society

9 hours ago

Throughout Chinese history, dynastic states used labels on textiles to spread information on the maker, the commissioner, the owner or the date and site of production. Silks produced in state-owned manufacture ...

US company sells out of Ebola toys

Oct 17, 2014

They might look tasteless, but satisfied customers dub them cute and adorable. Ebola-themed toys have proved such a hit that one US-based company has sold out.

User comments : 0