A study from the Polytechnic University of Valencia concluded that the antioxidant compounds of fried tomato combine better with probiotic strains than those of raw tomato, preventing them from losing their protective capacity of the intestine during the digestive process.
In recent years, it has become fashionable for food to be not only nutritious but also functional. The consumer has become demanding and wants food to offer a beneficial effect on the body and reduce the risk of certain diseases. This beneficial effect depends not only on its content in bioactive compounds, but on the changes that these undergo during the digestive process and that affect their bioavailability and bioavailability.
Given this context, researchers from the Polytechnic University of Valencia, belonging to the Institute of Food Engineering for Development and the Advanced Center for Food Microbiology, have evaluated the impact of certain antioxidants from tomato, phenolic compounds and lycopene, on the viability of the probiotic microorganism Lactobacillus reuteri, and vice versa, throughout the digestive process.
Better fried than raw
Among the conclusions of the study published in theJournal of Functional Foods, researchers have verified how the presence of antioxidant compounds protects the probiotic strain against the loss of properties that occurs during the digestive process, this protection being greater when these come from fried tomato instead of raw.
In addition, this study offers recommendations when designing diets or making dietary recommendations for co-ingesting foods in the same meal to enhance the probiotic effect of bacteria such as Lactobacillus reuteri.
The value of probiotics
“We have evaluated the viability of the probiotic strain throughout the digestive process individually and the presence of antioxidants from a plant source, as well as the impact of the probiotic strain on the changes experienced by antioxidant compounds and final bioaccessibility.
We work with raw and fried tomatoes to show the impact of the processing. And among the results, we observe how accompanying diets rich in probiotics with fried tomato enhances that probiotic character; in addition to a progressive isomerization of the tomato lycopene, which has a positive effect on a greater final bioaccessibility of this carotenoid ”, highlights Ana Belén Heredia, one of the authors.
Likewise, this work shows the need to take into account not only the changes experienced by bioactive compounds during food processing, but also during the digestive process.
According to the researchers, these changes should be taken into account in the design of functional foods by the food industry, in order to ensure or maximize the bioaccessibility of bioactive compounds and the viability of probiotics.
“Viability during the gastrointestinal tract, and the gastro-resistance of Lactobacillus reuteri, is influenced by a parallel contribution of antioxidant compounds from tomato. And we have shown that fried tomato is better than raw tomato in both cases ”, concludes Jorge García Hernández from the Advanced Center for Food Microbiology (CAMA).
This work has been carried out within the framework of the multidisciplinary project "Gastrointestinal simulation for the study of the interactions" functional ingredient-food matrix "and its influence on the bioavailability and functionality of micronutrients" funded by the U.P.V. and in which doctors Ana Belén Heredia Gutiérrez, Jorge García Hernández, Ana Andrés Grau and Manolo Hernández Pérez have participated.
J. García-Hernández, M. Hernández-Pérez, I. Peinado, A. Andrés, A. Heredia. "Tomato-antioxidants enhance viability of L. reuteri under gastrointestinal conditions while the probiotic negatively a ﬀ ects bioaccessibility of lycopene and phenols".Journal of Functional Foods. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jff.2017.12.052
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