Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Fermented milk: Kefir

Kefir is a fermented milk beverage produced by the action of a complex mixture of microorganisms, including lactic acid bacteria (LAB), yeasts and acetic acid bacteria.

The nutritional composition of kefir varies according to the milk composition, the microbiological composition of the grains used, the time/temperature of fermentation and storage conditions.

Kefir originates from the Caucasus and Tibet, where before 2000 years BC the grains were already being traditionally passed from generation to generation among the Caucasus tribes, being considered a source of family wealth. Kefir is very different from yogurt, but one of the most exciting differences is that kefir is a mesophilic culture while most yogurts are thermophilic cultures.

What this means is that kefir can be made at room temperature on home countertop while yogurt is usually made in a 100° to 112°F environment. Kefir has an antibacterial effect against many pathogenic organisms due to the inherent formation of organic acids, hydrogen peroxide, acetaldehyde, carbon dioxide, and bacteriocins.

Regular consumption of kefir has been associated with improved digestion and lactose tolerance, antibacterial and hypocholesterolemic effects, plasma glucose control, antihypertensive and anti-inflammatory effects, antioxidant, anticarcinogenic and antiallergenic activity and wound healing effects.
Fermented milk: Kefir
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