Two interesting papers involving milk fermentation are published this week in the Journal of Food Science. The first paper investigates the various microflora found in 4 samples of Kefir from across China to use as starter cultures. Kefir is a fermented milk drink involving yeasts and lactic acid producing bacteria. This bacterial fungal combination produces a drink similar to a thin yogurt but it is slightly carbonated and contains up to 1% alcohol. The health benefits of drinking it regularly are similar to yogurt.
The second paper investigates adding ß-glucan to milk and fermenting it to yogurt. ß-glucans, normally lacking from yogurt, are known functional bioactive ingredients. The purpose of the paper was to investigate how much ß-glucans could be added to the mix before it inhibited the fermentation process.