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Int J Mol Sci. 2012;13(1):788-800. doi: 10.3390/ijms13010788. Epub 2012 Jan 13.

Development of an innovative nutraceutical fermented beverage from herbal mate (Ilex paraguariensis A.St.-Hil.) extract.

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Bioprocess Engineering and Biotechnology Division, Chemical Engineering Department, Federal University of Paraná, Curitiba, PR 81531-991, Brazil; E-Mails: (I.F.P.L.); (J.D.D.L.).


Herbal mate (Ilex paraguariensis A.St.-Hil.) leaves are traditionally used for their stimulant, antioxidant, antimicrobial, and diuretic activity, presenting as principal components polyphenolic compounds. The aim of this work was to develop an innovative, non-dairy, functional, probiotic, fermented beverage using herbal mate extract as a natural ingredient which would also be hypocholesterolemic and hepatoprotective. Among different strains used, Lactobacillus acidophilus was selected as the best for fermentation. The addition of honey positively affected the development of L. acidophilus and the formulated beverage maintained microbial stability during shelf life. Key ingredients in the extract included xanthines, polyphenols and other antioxidants with potential health benefits for the consumer. Caffeine levels and antioxidant activity were also studied. Acceptable levels of caffeine and large antioxidant capacity were observed for the formulation when compared to other antioxidant beverages. An advantage of this product is the compliance to organic claims, while providing caffeine, other phyto-stimulants and antioxidant compounds without the addition of synthetic components or preservatives in the formulation. Sensorial analysis demonstrated that the beverage had good consumer acceptance in comparison to two other similar commercial beverages. Therefore, this beverage could be used as a new, non-dairy vehicle for probiotic consumption, especially by vegetarians and lactose intolerant consumers. It is expected that such a product will have good market potential in an era of functional foods.


Lactobacillus acidophilus; antioxidant activity; caffeine; herbal mate; probiotic beverage

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