A new review calls out opportunities for developing functional foods from soy that offer synergistic benefits of probiotics and prebiotics. Researchers from the ICAR-Indian Agricultural Research Institute, New Delhi, explored strategies to enhance the nutraceutical potential, mechanisms and health-promoting effects of soy products (Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr. DOI:10.1080/10408398.2022.2078272).
The researchers note that there is increasing attention across the processed food industry around new ways to improve nutrient composition and safety of such products. In particular, there is more interest in probiotics and prebiotics, which the team considered to offer significant benefits when integrated into soy foods. Among the potential strategies to increase the functionality of the ingredients are the use of mixed culture fermentation, engineering probiotics, and incorporating prebiotic into fermented foods, delivering ‘synbiotic’ effects.
In conclusion, there is great opportunity to develop soy-based probiotic and synbiotic products that are both commercially viable and deliver consumer health benefits.