Prabha R, Ramachandra B and PA Shankar
Bifidobacteria are considered as good bacteria residing in the intestinal tracts of human beings, predominated in breast fed infants extending the therapeutic benefits. They are the indictors of healthy gut. A bifidus factor or Bifidogenic factors are compounds that specifically enhance the growth of bifidobacteria in the intestines of humans. The bifidogenic factors include natural food ingredients like oligosaccharides (Fructo, Xylo, Galacto), resistant starch, pantathine etc. Vegetables contain growth stimulants for bifidobacteria in the form of dietary fibres. In this article an attempt has been made to find the good vegetable that stimulate bifidobacteria through incorporating their cold extract into MRS broth. Among 33 commonly available vegetables, ash gourd, carrot, chow-chow and tomato consistently stimulated the wild strains of bifidobacteria such as B. longum F51(isolated from infant faeces) & PF1(isolated form probiotic feed); B. adolescentis F35 (infant faecal isolate) and B. bifidum S26 (skin isolate of lactating mother) with direct microscopic counts ranging from 8.14 to 8.60 log10/ml. In sterile skim milk, the vegetable extracts led to early setting and improved in titratable acidity. The skim milk took 48 to 96 hours to curdle but incorporation of cold extracts of ash gourd (Benincasa hispida), carrot (Daucus carota) and tomato (Solanum lycopersicum) reduced the curdling time and made the milk to set at 20 to 22 hours at 37 0C with DMC 8.05 to 8.22 log10/ml and 0.33 to 0.48% lactic acid. This indicated that some of the vegetables have the ability to stimulate the growth of bifidobacteria.
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