Bio-tiful Dairy Ltd., UK
Maria Kardakova is an expert in the fields of Public Health, Epidemiology, Human Nutrition and Immunology in the UK. Her aim is to increase collaboration between business enterprises and scientific institutions in order to accelerate innovation in food manufacturing and healthcare.
Kefir is a fermented milk beverage produced by the action of a complex mixture of microorganisms, including lactic acid bacteria (LAB), yeasts and acetic acid bacteria. According to Rosa et al, 2017, regular consumption of kefir has been associated with improved digestion and lactose tolerance, antibacterial and hypocholesterolemic effects, plasma glucose control, antihypertensive and anti-inflammatory effects, antioxidant, anticarcinogenic and antiallergenic activity and wound healing effects. Kefir contains a wide range of beneficial microorganisms. Kefir has the potential to become a staple item in the dairy category since it is safe, natural, has a low production cost, and can be easily incorporated into the diet. Physiological effects described in the literature support the health-promoting benefits of kefir. In some countries, kefir is a regular option to drink in schools, hospitals, and care establishments. Latest research papers highlight kefir beneficial properties in restoring gut microbiome after the antibiotic treatment, controlling inflammation and increasing the efficiency of immune response as well as having positive effects on the symptoms of constipation. Kefir improves bowel satisfaction scores and accelerates colonic transit which may be a critical point for bedridden patients. However, starting materials, technological process variables (pH level, temperature and duration of fermentation) and flavouring, affect kefir’s final characteristics such as taste, texture, chemical and microbial composition. Kefir health benefits may vary depending on its bacterial content. The future of kefir manufacturing include: A clear evaluation of kefir’s bacterial content; In vivo studies for better understand the mechanisms of action of kefir in oxidative stress, immune modulatory action, anti-inflammatory properties, modulation of gut microbiota and maintenance of gut integrity; further, animal and clinical studies demonstrating the health benefits of kefir consumption with improved study design, sample size and relative study duration; the interaction between dairy industry and scientific institutions can help with further solutions for the standardization of fermented drinks production.