Yoghurt is most popular and more acceptable throughout the world because of its general positive image among consumers because of its diverse nutritional and therapeutic properties and can be the most suitable probiotic carrier. Key factors for consumer’s inclination towards functional foods are increased awareness for healthy foods because of health deterioration resulting from busy lifestyles, growing healthcare cost and the aspiration for an improved quality life in later years. Yoghurt is still not consumed in certain parts of the world because of a lack of a cultural tradition of consuming yogurt and further people are not aware of the health benefits associated with yogurt consumption. In this study an attempt has been to project probiotic yoghurt as a functional food in the current era of self-care and complementary medicine.
Attempt has been made to review the literature on the biochemical activities of yoghurt cultures and their behavior in association with diverse probiotic cultures. Both review and research papers related to biochemical activities and functional properties of yoghurt cultures in association with probiotics 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, etc.
Functional properties of yoghurt can be further enhanced with fortification of minerals and vitamins or inclusion of probiotic cultures. Diversity in biochemical behavior yoghurt cultures in association with different probiotic cultures has been reported. Conjugated application of probiotics with yoghurt cultures would result in a product with enhanced functional properties to extend health benefits.
Inclusion of probiotic cultures in yoghurt is suggested to extend the functional properties of normal yoghurt, thus providing necessary nutrients, improving health and preventing or reducing nutrition-related diseases. Regular intake of probiotic yoghurt is suggested for healthy lifestyles, as it will help in retaining their health and reduce the potentially long-term risk of disease. Food industries can have profit-driven business by projecting the probiotic yoghurt as a functional food.
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