Selection of candidate probiotic strains from human microbial niches, for the development of tailored foods designed for specific consumers

D'Alessandro, Margherita (2023) Selection of candidate probiotic strains from human microbial niches, for the development of tailored foods designed for specific consumers, [Dissertation thesis], Alma Mater Studiorum Università di Bologna. Dottorato di ricerca in Scienze e tecnologie agrarie, ambientali e alimentari, 35 Ciclo.
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My PhD project was intended, throughout the selection of probiotics from human milk and healthy vaginal environment, for the development of tailored fermented foods. According to this aim, several activities were carried out. The first one, concerning the isolation of Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium strains from human milk to find new probiotic candidates to be included in food products showed promising results. Probiotics have been also proposed to improve female genital health and microbial strains isolated and connected with healthy vaginal ecosystem could be used to prevent or treat vaginal dysbiosis. In this context vaginal lactobacilli previously characterized for their technological features and antagonistic activity against several female uro-genital pathogens were investigated for their metabolic aptitude and additional probiotic features, showing interesting results hypothesizing their inclusion in foods. In addition, in order to preserve vaginal strains viability during food processing/digestion it was also evaluated the potential of microencapsulation by spray-drying. In this framework the results obtained were highly promising from the perspective of using encapsulated powders in food formulations. Another activity connected with the main idea to develop a food strategy for the administration of these vaginal strains was carried out. Lactobacillus crispatus BC4, was supplemented in a Squacquerone cheese, and its digestive fate was evaluated adopting SHIME® system. The results showed that during colonic fermentation, L. crispatus BC4 was metabolically active. Additionally, although probiotic delivery to humans has traditionally been associated with fermented dairy foods, recently the demand for non-dairy-alternatives as potential probiotics carrier is increasing. In this framework, my latest activity was connected with the development of fermented soy milks with encapsulated and non-encapsulated L. crispatus BC4 and L. gasseri BC9. The same fermented soy milks were also investigated for their nutritional qualities and after in vitro digestion for their specific functionality on post-menopausal fecal microbiota and protein bioaccessibility.

Tipologia del documento
Tesi di dottorato
D'Alessandro, Margherita
Dottorato di ricerca
Settore disciplinare
Settore concorsuale
Parole chiave
probiotics, functional foods, fermentation, lactobacilli, bifidobacteria, dairy product, soy milk
Data di discussione
31 Marzo 2023

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