Fitas comestíveis de banana como veículos para probióticos
Niro, Carolina Madazio
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Considering the growing demand for products that simultaneously meet the requirements of healthiness, good sensory acceptance and convenience, snacks based on fruits or vegetables have been a strong market trend. Another trend is that of food containing probiotics. However, most probiotic foods available on the market are dairy products. With a large number of people with restrictions to the consumption of dairy products and even to animal-based products in general, there is a growing need to introduce non-dairy probiotic foods to the market. The objective of this project was to produce a probiotic banana leather. The fruit leathers were made from banana puree and a film forming matrix. Two matrices were compared – a digestible one (starch) and a non-digestible one (bacterial cellulose - BC), and two probiotic strains (one sporogenic and one non-sporogenic - Bacillus coagulans BC4 and Lactobacillus acidophilus LA-3, respectively), in addition to the presence of a plasticizer and prebiotic agent (yacon syrup). The different formulations were evaluated in terms of their physical properties and viability of the strains after oven drying at 50 °C, during storage at 25 °C and along the simulated passage through the gastrointestinal tract. The leathers presented tensile strength values between 1 and 3 MPa, the ones with BC showing significant higher strengths (p < 0.05), and the presence of probiotics significantly decreasing the tensile strength values. The shear force was also affected by the matrix (being higher for the BC-based leathers) and by the presence of L. acidophilus (which significantly decreased the shear force values). After the dehydration process, the viability of B. coagulans was reduced in about 1 log cycle when compared to that of the film-forming dispersion, showing about 7.6 log cfu g-1, while L. acidophilus did not show enough viability for counting (< 3 log cfu g-1). The viability of B. coagulans remained constant up to 187 days of storage at 25 °C. During the simulated passage through gastrointestinal tract, B. coagulans BC4 resisted well to the pH and enzimatic conditions of the stomach and duodenum, BC- and starch-based leathers released, respectively, 7.45 ± 0.12 e 7.77 ± 0.33 log cfu g-1 in the small intestine (without significant differences between matrices). Therefore, banana leathers can be promising non-dairy foods as carriers of B. coagulans BC4, however, L. acidophilus LA-3 could not be considered a suitable strain for the proposed process. It is recommended that a sensory analysis be carried out in the future with the different formulations of banana leathers to understand how differences in the texture can influence the product acceptance.
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