What are Probiotics?
Probiotics are edible living microorganisms beneficial to a host system. To reap the benefits, it must be protected and enter the gastrointestinal system in its entirety to activate. Consequently, most probiotic supplements are encapsulated, providing the necessary protection until reaching the ultimate destination of the intestine.
In regard to suggested serving size, 1 billion colony forming units, or cfu, is recommended. With 25-50 billion colony forming units per one gram of pure culture, reaching the suggested dose is easily met.
Benefits of probiotics are specific to the very strand from which the probiotic originates. Bakers utilizing probiotics to add positive health benefits to their products must be in adequate communication with their probiotic supplier at hand to take into account what strands of bacteria are included in the probiotic, specific to what health benefits are desired upon consumption.
- Bacillus subtillus: Probiotic used in baked goods such as breads, muffins, and cakes.
- Bacillus coagulans: Process-friendly probiotic that can be utilized in all baked goods including cereals.
- Lactobacillus acidophilus: Used in icings and fillings, bars, granola, yogurts.
- Lactobacillus rhamnosus: Used in baked goods such as wafers, crackers, etc.
- Lactobacillus casei: Used in baked items, granola bars or wellness bars.
- Bifidobacterium lactis: Used in baked items, granola bars or wellness bars.
Including probiotics into the world of baking is a difficult task due to the high temperatures baked items are exposed to for lengthy periods of time, which are detrimental to probiotics. This characteristic is the reason why probiotics are traditionally added to bake products after the baking process is complete.
Generally, temperatures at 130 ̊F for less than one minute of a water activity of 0.4 or below will not harm a probiotic. In addition, an exception to the rule of probiotic harm by baking is probiotics containing spore-forming bacteria, which can survive the baking process.
Probiotics integrated into chocolate are added into baked goods for flavoring as well as the nutritional value post baking. Such chocolate comes in forms such as bars or chips for bakers to utilize via coating, melting, enrobing, or blending as a main ingredient.
Probiotics are most often exhibited in baked goods such as bars, muffins, breads, crackers, cookies, cakes, or granola items targeting a health oriented market.
Yogurt is a primary food containing probiotics. In baking, when sour cream is required, yogurt can be used as a substitute. Yogurt can also be integrated into a recipe when richness, creaminess, or added moisture is desired.