The soy fermented by Akron Srl (registered in the Feed Material Register under the name Fermsoy) was developed in the early ‘90s thanks to the studies carried out on lactic bacteria and their production of primary and secondary metabolites by Mr. Gianfranco Pedron. He studies their properties in the process of soy fermentation up to its registration as raw material.
Given that the soy is considered an alternative to the products of animal origin and that it is much appreciated for its high content of proteins – which turns out to be even higher than the one provided by other legumes – and polyunsaturated fats, Akron Srl R&D Team wanted to explore a potential presence of such a rich product in bioactive peptides (i.e. short pieces of proteins with biological activity). In particular, we have been focusing on these latter ones since they have a double beneficial effect from a nutritional point of view: they can also – and mainly – be found in the gastroenteric apparatus. The second focus concerned the use of a substrate, whose fermentation is useful to the release of such peptides from native proteins. In this case, the microbial metabolism is indeed responsible for the production of β-glucosidase enzyme, which converts glycosidic isoflavones into aglycones with a biological activity that is higher in the products based on fermented soy. During this process, even numerous final metabolites – associated to the organism development – such as peptides, phenolic acids, fatty acids, vitamins, flavonoids and organic acids. The third focus consisted of removing some non-nutrients because, despite the multiple properties and the respective health benefits, the soy is a very controversial food.
The fermentation is an ancient technique that Akron uses to improve the consistency the digestibility and the shelf life of food, simultaneously reducing some anti-nutritional factors. In particular, this process involves the use of ultra-micronized non-GMO dehulled soybeans flour with lactobacilli of Lactobacillus delbrueckii subsp. Bulgaricus strain. One of the advantages offered by this bacterium is the rapid fermentation, its widespread presence in food, its historical use, and the facts that it is classified as GRAS (Generally Recognized As Safe) product. LAB (Lactic Acid Bacteria) are defined as such if the prevalent product of the sugar fermentation is the lactic acid. These lactic ferments are supposed to improve the absorption of soy isoflavones.
In fermented soy food, such production process is believed to especially promote the release of bioactive peptides. By bioactive peptides we mean short amino acid fragments that carry out several biological activities and have from 3 to 20 amino acids with a mass of less than 6000 Da. These peptides – released after the proteolytic action of digestive enzymes – can act locally or through the gastrointestinal barrier, reaching the bloodstream. Later, they can be transported to different target-organs, exerting their regulatory actions [Lorenzo et al., 2018]. The bioactive peptides can carry out various activities, among which the antioxidant one, that consists of neutralizing radical and harmful species that are formed in the cell.
Food containing bioactive peptides, as ingredients, take the name of functional foods, i.e. food that provide an increase in health benefits, together with the ones offered by the food content in terms of nutrition.
Formulations that contain Fermsoy can provide nutritional support by:
- Maintaining the general conditions;
- Supporting a healthy gastric epithelium;
- Supporting the right levels of gastric acid and intestinal proteins;
- Supporting the appetite and the digestive process.