Probiotics are live micro-organisms (bacteria and yeasts) that are beneficial to health once ingested. They act primarily in the digestive tract, protecting it from harmful micro-organisms and improving digestion and intestinal function.
However, not all dietary supplements and not all strains of micro-organisms can be considered probiotics, even if they are labelled as such. There are 4 conditions that must be met:
- They must be correctly identified in terms of genus, species and strain.
- They must be safe for their intended use.
- Supported by at least one human clinical trial demonstrating efficacy.
- Be alive in the product, in sufficient quantities to be effective, throughout the shelf life.
It is in this aspect, that of conservation over time, that freeze-drying is considered fundamental for the preservation of these probiotic micro-organisms. Through freeze-drying, by eliminating most of the water from the cells, the micro-organisms remain dormant or inactive, which ensures their shelf life.
In this way, probiotics found in food supplements (usually in the form of white powder) or added to certain foods (yoghurts, cheeses, fermented milks, etc.) ARE ALIVE in their own way. Their metabolic activity is suspended: by freeze-drying in the case of food supplements and by a combination of low temperature and acidity in the case of dairy foods.
Here are some examples of foods containing natural probiotics: sauerkraut, natural yoghurt, miso or fermented soya, kimchi, kefir, pickles, buttermilk, etc.
CURIOSITIES BARNALAB freeze-dried products:
Speaking of yeasts, you can get real sourdough bread from certain sachets of freeze-dried micro-organisms in fine powder form (available on the market) containing millions of yeasts and lactic acid bacteria that reactivate on contact with water. Freeze-drying makes life easier!