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Ice creams with added pre- or probiotics can be formulated to have good nutritional and sensory properties, according to FoodNavigator.com, citing a new study published in the Journal of Dairy Science.

The experimental ice creams made for a new study published in Journal of Dairy Science had counts of viable bacteria after frozen storage that met the minimum required to achieve probiotic effects. Moreover, most of the formulations of pre- and probiotic ice creams showed good nutritional and sensory properties, the report said.

“With a standard ice cream dietary intake (about 80 grams), it is possible to obtain at least 107 viable cells per day, which is necessary to achieve temporary intestinal colonisation,” according to the study, led by Dr. Di Criscio from the Università degli Studi del Molise, Italy.

The research said that the benefits associated with soluble dietary fibre, probiotic microorganisms, or both, could bring attractive novel products to fulfil market niches. “[Probiotic bacteria] … showed high survival at the end of production and good survival during frozen storage,” the researchers said.

The authors had observed that many new, and innovative functional dairy products are currently in development, including cheeses, yogurts, fermented milks, frozen yogurt, cheese-based dips, probiotic fermented lactic beverages, and probiotic fibre-enriched fermented milks.

They decided to evaluate the survival of probiotic microbial strains during ice cream storage because although ice cream has been deemed a potentially interesting vehicle, the effects of the freezing, thawing and storage process were unknown.

Several previous studies have suggested the potential for probiotic ice cream formulations, with a recent Brazilian study suggesting that probiotic ice cream shows ‘great potential’ , but successful formulation was dependent on overcoming the technical challenges of freezing probiotics.

Another study suggested prebiotics could boost the texture of lower fat ice creams , offering potentially health friendly summer snacks.

Dr. Di Criscio and colleagues concluded that using formulations with 2.5% inulin, it is possible to cover the 40% intake needed for beneficial effects on intestinal microorganisms.

“Finally, it should be possible to produce a functional ice cream (synbiotic) with inulin (minimum 3%) and potentially probiotic microorganisms,” stated the authors.

However they added that in vivo investigation into the effects of a synbiotic ice cream would be needed. – Source: FoodNavigator.com

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