12 January - 20 June 2016

Oat-based food offers improved nutritional and technological features

Researchers at the University of Foggia in Italy have been working on producing a non-dairy probiotic, oat-based product in order to combine the beneficial effects of the oats such as their high dietary fibre with probiotic microorganisms.

Researchers at the University of Foggia in Italy have been working on producing a non-dairy probiotic, oat-based product in order to combine the beneficial effects of the oats such as their high dietary fibre with probiotic microorganisms. They created a fermented oat flour based drink using four strains of Lactobacillus plantarum with the aim of improving the functional, nutritional and technological features of oat based products. Oat is a major source of β-glucan which has been reported to have beneficial effects on insulin resistance, dyslipidemia, hypertension, obesity as well as applications in cancer treatment and prevention. From a functional perspective, the team were interested in increasing vitamin B2 content and it was hoped that the exopolysaccharides produced by one of the L. plantarum strains would improve the rheological properties.

The product was assessed after 7, 14 and 21 days of cold storage and it was found that the vitamin B2 content was about twofold higher in products fermented by the riboflavin over-producing L. plantarum. Viscosity increased in the samples inoculated with the exopolysaccharides-producing L. plantarum strain. However, viscosity generally decreased over storage time for all samples and the overall acceptance of the product by the consumer panel also decreased. These findings have highlighted the need for further research into optimised production and storage conditions to enable the creation of a viable standardised product for the global market.

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