Recent societal interest in healthful foods has led to the development of functional dairy products that basically provide health benefits in addition to their fundamental nutrients. Yoghurt being most popular fermented milk product due to its healthy image can be an excellent carrier for probiotics. Functional properties of yoghurt can be enhanced with the inclusion of functional ingredients such as probiotics and its conjugate application with prebiotics may be advantageous as it favors probiotic growth. Nutritional and medicinal value of honey coupled with presence of oligosaccharides has projected honey as a functional additive in yoghurt.
Attempt has been made to review the literature on the biochemical activities of yoghurt cultures and probiotics in presence of honey. Both review and research papers related to biochemical activities and functional properties of yoghurt cultures and probiotics in presence of honey and their health benefits published in diverse journals under Pub Med and Science Direct have been considered. Keywords used for data search included functional foods, yoghurt, probiotic, health benefits, honey, etc.
Functional properties of yoghurt can be further enhanced with the inclusion of probiotic cultures and honey. Honey can be safely used in association with different probiotic cultures during yoghurt manufacture for augmenting functional properties of yoghurt to extend health benefits. Honey may not be equally a suitable matrix for all yoghurt cultures or probiotic cultures.
Reviewed literature indicated that limited research on animal or human feeding trials with honey containing yoghurt has been done. Clinical trials with honey containing yoghurt are emerging prior to its marketing as functional food.
Application of honey as a functional additive during the manufacture of probiotic yoghurt is suggested to extend the functional properties of normal yoghurt.
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