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Customer questions_636

What is the health difference between fermented foods and probiotics?

Fermented foods are foods that have been through a process of lactofermentation in which natural bacteria feed on the sugar and starch in the food, creating lactic acid. This process preservs the food and creates, besides a distinct taste, beneficial enzymes, vitamins and various strains of probiotics. Cultures around the world have been eating fermented foods for years, from sauerkraut and beer to kimchi and miso. Nowadays, fermented foods are becoming very popular as part of a healthy diet. Do fermented food possess the same health benefits as probiotics?  

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It is important to realize that fermented foods are not “the same thing as probiotics”, and here are some reasons why:


 Not all fermented foods contain live microorganisms.

Beer and wine for example have gone through a filtering process in which the microbial organisms (such as yeasts) are removed. In other foods, such as sauerkraut and bread for example, the microorganisms are exposed to high temperatures and die during the cooking process.


 Not all bacteria are probiotic

The bacteria present in non-heated or filtered fermented foods, such as dry fermented sausages, cheeses and kimichi, do contain bacteria but these cultures do not necessarily have a probiotic function. The definition of a probiotic bacteria is that it must confer a health benefit for the host, and the bacteria present in these types of foods must have been classified as such. For some dairy products it can be the case that the bacteria responsible for the fermentation process are characterized as probiotic which is often the case for many yoghurt cultures.



Fermentation-associated microbes may nonetheless share many of the beneficial traits of known probiotic organisms and although not always being classified as probiotics, fermented food can be an important dietary source of live microorganisms and contribute to a diverse array of microorganisms to the existing gut microbiota and thus have the potential to affect health. 






What is the health difference between fermented foods and probiotics?

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