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Int J Food Microbiol. 2005 Jul 15;102(2):231-7.

Use of traditional African fermented beverages as delivery vehicles for Bifidobacterium lactis DSM 10140.

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Department of Food and Agricultural Sciences, Cape Peninsular University of Technology, P.O. Box 652, Cape Town 8001, South Africa.


A microencapsulation delivery system for Bifidobacterium lactis, a possible probiotic suited for use by the rural population of South Africa, was evaluated using two existing traditional fermented foods, amasi and mahewu. Gellan/xanthan microcapsules containing viable B. lactis, were tested under simulated physiological conditions, and added to pasteurized beverages. The capsules protected the organism under simulated low pH conditions associated with the stomach and from the biocidal activity of pancreatic and bile acids. For mahewu, microencapsulation of B. lactis with storage aerobically at 4 degrees C and 22 degrees C enhanced survival over a 21-day period as compared to free cells. In amasi, differences in viability between immobilized and free cells were less noticeable. An analytically trained taste panel was unable to detect a significant difference in texture in any of the samples fortified with microcapsules. Although flavour differences were noted for mahewu containing either free or immobilized cells, after 14 days refrigerated storage, these were not disliked. No significant flavour difference was noted between amasi containing immobilized cells and untreated controls over the period tested.

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