Benefits and potential probiotic food vehicles in Nigeria- A review and preliminary efforts
This review highlights the benefits of probiotics, types, health effects as well as potential delivery vehicles in Nigeria. Probiotic foods are known to be beneficial in human health and nutrition owing to the activities of the live microorganisms they contain. The common probiotic organisms include bacteria of and species and some yeast ( i) delivered mostly through fermented dairy products such as yoghurt, cheeses and ice cream. Soy products, beverages and fruit juices have also been employed as probiotic vehicles. Some of the health benefits of probiotics include the alleviation and prevention of gastrointestinal diseases, allergies, and lowering of blood cholesterol. Nutritionrelated benefits include enhanced digestion and assimilation of food nutrients, increased bioavailability of vitamins and improved mineral absorption. Although most probiotics are dairy-based, locally available fermented cereal foods such as kunun zaki, burukutu and ogi could be potential probiotic vehicles in Nigeria. The upgrading of such local foods could add to their value and promote their consumption. Apreliminary work using as a possible probiotic inoculum source in kunun processing was also attempted and reported in this study.
Keywords: probiotics, cereals, health benefits, probiotic vehicles, traditional foods