BIOTECHNOLOGY AND FERMENTATION SCIENCES
…A NEW AGE IS DAWNING FOR NUTRITION THANKS TO FERMENTED FOOD MATRICES THAT ARE GIVING EVIDENCE OF GREAT EFFECTIVENESS IN STRENGTHENING THE IMMUNE SYSTEM, SUPPORTING THE AND CATABOLIC METABOLIC FUNCTIONS, AND COUNTERACTING DYSBIOSIS.
THE MICROBIAL FERMENTATION IS THE MOST WIDELY APPLIED METHOD IN BIOTECHNOLOGY AND HAS A LARGE NUMBER OF USES AND APPLICATIONS IN PRESENT-DAY INDUSTRY.
The need for functional ingredients in the food industry – as well as in agriculture – to ensure plant and animal welfare is growing, and the fermentation products are no longer just a promise, but a reality.
The fermented product potentiality lies in the production of substances that help the animal’s physiology and nutrition, ensuring excellent results in complete bio-safety.
BUT WHAT EXACTLY ARE POSTBIOTICS?
Guided fermentation give rise to compounds rich in metabolites. When food is fermented, a series of metabolites is released from bacteria. Those metabolites are called postbiotics. These are also known as meta-biotics, biogenic or simply metabolites CFS (cell-free supernatants) and are defined as soluble factors, metabolic products or by-products released by live bacteria or released after the bacterial lysis by different bacteria strains. Some examples include: short-chain fatty acids (SCFA), enzymes, peptides, teichoic acids, vitamins and organic acids.
CLINICAL PERSPECTIVES OF FERMENTED FOOD MATRICES AND POSTBIOTICS
Unlike prebiotics, postbiotics have turned out to be particularly functional in dysbiosis cases, so much so that they have been suggested as food supplements able to promote the intestinal homeostasis in cases of intestinal inflammatory diseases. Most of the microorganisms that live in the intestine come into direct contact with the epithelial cells since they live in an intestinal area covered with mucus. This latter represents a barrier and a support for the bacteria. For this reason, most of the interactions do not occur among bacteria but with their metabolic products, the so-called postbiotics. In this case, all the foods that are fermented inside the intestine through bacteria release a series of molecules that are important for a proper functioning of the organism (immunomodulating agents, antimicrobial peptides, digestive enzymes, organic acids, etc.) this fermentation process can occur inside the organism when we use probiotics or can be replicated externally through the use of fermented food matrices. These latter are nothing but food fermented with probiotics: these can be removed or inactivated by heat. Thus, its metabolic products are all that is left. Therefore, depending on the matrix and the microorganisms (bacterium, fungus, yeast) used for the fermentation, we have a series of compounds that present different abilities and activities on the immune and digestive systems. Their activity is based on the interaction with the immune system and its modulation. Thus, we can either activate an immune response and promote a response against the infection, or deactivate the immune response in the vent that we have an excessive inflammation.
Simpler examples of fermented food matrices are milk or yogurt, which have several active molecules, very effective in active and digestible form, with multiple abilities depending on the bacteria used.