Synbiotic food products in matrices other than dairy foods is needed to address the problem of lactose intolerance in certain
segments of the population. In this study an attempt was made to develop a synbiotic food based on cereals, millets and
legumes which comprise dietary staples in India. A nutritious combination of ragi-soybean (7:3) was found to be very effective in
supporting growth of probiotic microorganisms. A 10% slurry was inoculated with a mixed culture of approx. 5 log cfu mL-1 of
L. casei (MTCC 1423), L. plantarum (MTCC 2621) and L. fermentum (MTCC 0903) and fermented at 37?C for 16 h. An increase
in approx. 4 log cfu mL-1 was achieved at the end of the fermentation period with an increased production of lactic acid (0.393 g
%) and a decrease in pH (4.8) and viscosity (240 cP). The mixture was lyophilised with trehalose (1%) added as a cryoprotectant.
The viability of the organisms during storage was studied at 5, 10, 15, 25 ? 2?C for a period of 8 weeks. The results showed that
the viability of the organisms was best at 5?C. At other temperatures the viability was reduced as temperature of storage increased.
The efficacy of the formulation in maintaining stability of the organisms during exposure to simulated gastrointestinal juices was
studied. The results showed for the first time that ragi-soybean combination could provide a good medium for enhanced survival
of the probiotic organisms and potential for development of a synbiotic product.
Minelly Rodrigues is a University Grants Commision (UGC) Junior Research Fellow at the Department of Foods, Nutrition and Dietetics of College
of Home Science, Nirmala Niketan, Mumbai. She completed her M.Sc. in Foods, Nutrition and Dietetics in 2007 and is currently working on probiotic
and synbiotic food formulations towards Ph.D. from University of Mumbai. The study is being carried out in collaboration with Food Technology
Division, Bhabha Atomic Research Centre Mumbai.
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