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Study shows probiotics are a viable additive for fruit juices

Friday, November 22, 2013 by: L.J. Devon, Staff Writer
Tags: probiotics, fruit juice, food additives

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(NaturalNews) Since bacteria are known for causing illness, why are more and more people turning to pro-bacterial supplements for good health? Why are people beginning to treat conditions like irritable bowel syndrome, ulcerative colitis, and weakened immune systems with bacterial supplementation?

Certain bacteria are good for the gut

This is because certain strains of live bacteria are actually beneficial to the gut and the immune system. These good bacteria, called probiotics, are vital to the human body. More than 100 trillion microorganisms inhabit a normal, healthy bowel, including over 500 different species of bacteria. Most of these microorganisms aren't dangerous; they actually support the body, aiding in digestion, nutrient absorption and immune system function. Links are also being made purporting that probiotics help keep toxic pathogens from poisoning the blood and crossing through the blood-brain barrier, which can cause mental illness to be triggered.

Antibiotics are overprescribed

With medical doctors prescribing antibiotics routinely, people think that all bacteria create sickness and are harmful. As the overprescription of antibiotics takes hold, people are deceived and depleted of beneficial strains of bacteria that actually promote immune system health. As antibiotics are consumed for the most minute problems, greater damage is caused inside the gut. As the good bacteria are eradicated by antibiotics, the immune system is further compromised, leading people through cycles of illness.

Fruit juices can be a viable carrier of probiotics

Probiotics are typically consumed in yogurt - a dairy food fermented with bacteria. With some people being lactose intolerant, dairy products are not always a good source of probiotics. Those who are lactose intolerant look to supplements in a capsule for probiotics.

According to new, promising research, there may be other ways of obtaining probiotics; a new study examines the shelf life and efficacy of probiotics when added to fruit juices. Since many juices already contain beneficial vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, the addition of probiotics to healthy juices would seem like a good fit.

In fact, the study, published in the Journal of Food Science, shows how specific strains of bacteria survive when added to apple juice and can even ward off yeasts that spoil the juices. Four strains of bifidobacteria and one strain of Lactobacillus plantarum were studied. The suitability of these strains was evaluated in relation to resistance caused by citrus extracts (biocitro and lemon).

Using the Weibull equation, the strains of L. plantarum and bifidobacteria were evaluated for first reduction time, microbiological shelf life and time of death.

The researchers found that these bacterial strains survived long enough to make them viable additives to fruit juices. The strains survived at varying temperatures (4 and 37 degrees Celsius) and even inhibited Zygosaccharomyces bailii, which is yeast that spoils the juices.

In the red fruit juice with the biocitro citrus extract, bifidobacteria survived the longest at 4 degrees Celsius. In the apple juice, L. plantarum survived the longest in the lemon citrus extract at 37 degrees Celsius. The citrus extracts had no biocidal effect toward either strain of probiotics; in fact, the probiotics actually reduced the yeast levels of the juices after 18 days.

A probiotic future

As research continues on probiotics, the suitability of these beneficial microorganisms in specific juice and food products may be found. This has the potential to alter the health of millions (who have already been depleted of good bacteria thanks to the overprescription of antibiotics).
Imagine juice manufacturers adding probiotics to their drinks instead of adding artificial flavorings, sweeteners and dyes. Imagine an informed and empowered populace, building their immune systems back up. Image people saying "no" to frivolous antibiotic crutches. Imagine the majority saying "yes" to more healthy probiotic-infused juices and supplements.

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