Bifidobacterium yogurt

Yogurt is popular as the best source of the lactic acid bacteria.However, not all yogurt products contain the significant numbers of live culture of lactobacillus or say bifidobacterium, because bacteria generally does not survive in the manufacturing procedure. Some yogurts possess live culture added by the manufacturers. Several bacteria live in the human intestines, providing a beneficial parasitic relationship which benefits us and them..  Bifidobacterium produces lactic acid as its end product of the process of fermentation.  In some cases, bacteria can be killed and ends up having no probiotic benefit.
Bifidobacterium yogurt is that yogurt, which is usually cultured with the bacteria from genus Bifidobacterium. The commonly used Bifidobacterium in the yogurts or in any other dairy product is the Bifidobacterium animalis and the Bifidobacterium bifidum. The bacteria is probiotic well known for the positive advantages on human digestion. Several types of harmless bacteria may be used for culturing yogurt, and most of the yogurts are made by using a blend of different bacteria. The bifidobacterium yogurt is however common, not very common like yogurts prepared with other kinds of live culture.
Yogurt is prepared by adding the live cultures of several bacteria in the milk and allowing milk for fermentation. The live culture includes bacteria from different generation and most of them are good for health. Non-dairy yogurt can be made into the bifidobacterium yogurt. The usual non-dairy bases of yogurt include soy, rice and coconut milk. Additives to yogurts of this kind help to mimic the textures of dairy based yogurts while the addition of Bifidobacterium or other bacteria provide the alternative yogurt the same benefits which dairy yogurts made with the live cultures have.
While the bifidobacterium yogurt is consumed, some live cultures in the yogurt stay behind in our digestive tract. These types of bacteria starts colonize the inner walls of the large intestine. In the large intestine, with the help of it nutrients are broken down for further digesion. It helps to prevent infestation from harmful bacteria by  taking most of the much helpful nutrients which could feed the  bacteria. These bacteria helps to get rid of the oxygen and lower potential hydrogen (pH) of the digestive tract, which makes it an in-hospitable situation for other kinds of bacteria. Several medical studies have been assuting that eating this, bifidobacterium yogurt does help protect us from invasion of harmful bacteria.
Most of the bacteria in the bifidobacterium yogurt do not remain in our digestive tract, as in large amounts wastes pass out from our body. Though most of the helpful bacteria don't remain in any person's body, the presence in our digestive tract, it actually believed to help in decreasing the amount of time taken  for food to pass through.

What is the ideal sugar to water ratio for making kefir ?

It is important to know the ideal sugar to water ratio when you are preparing kefir. Without knowing the ratio, you wouldn’t be able to make kefir. The optimum ratio is 3 parts sugar and 20 parts water. It means 3-10 % solution of sugar and water. So, if you take one cup of water, then you will need one tablespoon of sugar. During the summer season, you can use a little more sugar. Unless and until you get this ratio correct, you won’t be able to make kefir.

After getting the perfect sugar-water solution, you have to think about the kefir to solution ratio. The dried kefir grains can ferment generally between 1:16 to 1:18. It implies that for 1 cup of sugar-water, 1 tablespoon of kefir grains is perfect. With the passage of time, you would notice that 1 tablespoon of kefir grains can ferment 1 and a half cup of sugar-water. During the summer season, it is observed that 1 tablespoon of kefir grains is perfect for 2 cups of sugar-water. This is because the growth of kefir grains is faster in the summer season.

If you are a beginner, then start with the ratio of 1:16 to 1:18 which means 1 part kefir grains and 16 parts sugar-water or 1 part kefir grains and 18 parts sugar-water. This ratio can never go wrong and it doesn’t require any adjustments. All kefir grains are not same. Therefore, you may find some grains to ferment quickly, whereas some other grains consume a lot of time to ferment. Especially during the winter season, a huge delay in fermentation is noticed. For 1 and half cup water, sometimes 4 tablespoons of kefir grains are needed.

Both types of kefir grains have their own set of advantages. The kefir grains that ferment fast are called fast grains. They are needed in fewer amounts and here lies their advantage. The kefir grains that ferment slowly are called slow grains. They are needed in larger amounts and so you can have kefir frequently. You can use the finished kefir as a starter along with the kefir grains and here lies their advantage.

If you find that the kefir is too sour in taste, then adjust it by using less grains or using more sugar-water. On the other hand, if you use too much sugar-water and very little kefir grains, then there would be no fermentation. Therefore, it is very important to keep the ratio in your mind. When you are preparing kefir, do not forget to keep the ratios in your mind to prevent disappointment.

Growth of water kefir grains in different seasons

The growth of water kefir grains depends largely on seasonal variations. As we know, all living organisms get affected by seasonal, climatic and environmental conditions. Kefir grains are no exception. The subtle seasonal variations affect the growth of kefir grains largely. Let us consider the example of a tree. With the changing of seasons, we find the tree to grow, bear fruits and flowers, change colors and then finally discard the old leaves. Similarly, we find kefir to undergo several climatic and seasonal changes.

During the summer season, kefir ferments rapidly. The warm temperature facilitates the rapid growth of kefir. In a striking contrast, during the fall and spring, the growth of kefir grains is very inconsistent. The inconsistency in growth of water kefir grains is also noticed in extremes of temperature, such as a sweltering hot afternoon or a cold night. Although the growth of kefir grains slows down in winter, they are still able to ferment at very cold temperatures.

water kefir grains

Water kefir grains

It is noticed that during the summer season, kefir is sour and zesty. On the other hand, during the winter season, kefir is mild. Due to the various strains of probiotic microorganisms present in kefir, it can be fermented at different temperatures. The various strains perform differently at different temperatures. This is the reason why kefir has a different taste in different seasons.

Water kefir grains keep changing their shape and taste. Therefore, it is a little difficult to work with water kefir grains. You have to patiently wait for the water kefir to show normal growth. Sometimes, the growth of water kefir grains lag for a few weeks, then the growth becomes normal and after that it suddenly shows 100-400 % growth.

During the winter season, water kefir grains grow better when mixed with easier sugars such as white sugar with molasses. During the summer season, water kefir grains prefer slower digesting sugars for proper growth. You may find some difficulty in handling water kefir grains during the winter season. If you are able to find a warm spot in winter, then keep the kefir grains there. However, you should not expose the kefir grains to sunlight as the UV rays can kill the bacteria.

seasonal-kefir-growth

Under proper and suitable conditions, kefir grains can grow from 5% to 400% within 24 to 48 hours. In the winter, the growth is around 5%, whereas during summer, the growth is around 400%. During moderate temperature, growth is between 5% to 400%. It is also observed that the smaller kefir grains reproduce faster than the large kefir grains.

What types of milk that can be used for making dairy kefir ?

Kefir is a fermented milk product that is known for its huge health benefits. Though the flavor and tart of kefir is similar to that of yogurt, kefir contains much more beneficial qualities than yogurt. The best kind of kefir can be made from raw organic milk that is fresh and hygienic. However, every one cannot make kefir by using fresh raw organic milk because it is quite expensive and the availability is also not that great. There are also other concerns such as shelf life. In this article, we will talk about the several kinds of milk that can be used for making dairy kefir. We would also discuss about the pros and cons of each type of milk.

1. UHT milk:
Kefir can be made from UHT (ultra-heat treatment) milk. This is the type of milk that is subjected to a temperature which is as high as 135 degrees C for a second or two. This process results in the killing of the germs present in the milk. Therefore, people can store UHT milk in containers that is not opened for about nine months without any need of refrigeration. However, some amount of nutrients is lost from the milk due to heating it at such a high temperature. Many people have also complained about the slight unpleasant taste of UHT milk. However, this type of milk is cheap and so many people find it affordable and appropriate for making dairy kefir. When UHT milk is used for making dairy kefir, the kefir is thick. The pros of using UHT milk: It is cheap, easily available in the market and has the longest shelf life. The cons of using UHT milk: Nutrient loss is observed and it has a slight unpleasant taste which is not liked by many people.

2. Raw milk:
Kefir can be made with raw milk. Completely unprocessed milk is called raw milk. Raw milk tastes better and is much more nutritious than processed milk. Raw milk is not available in many countries. There are few places where raw milk is available, but it is extremely expensive. The pros of using raw milk: It tastes wonderful and is very nutritious. The cons of using raw milk: There are many hygiene or safety issues. Moreover, raw milk is not available in many countries. Raw milk also has the shortest shelf life.

3. Pasteurized milk:
Kefir can be made with pasteurized milk. This is the type of milk that is heated at a temperature of 70 degrees C. Since the milk is heated, important vitamins and minerals are lost. Pasteurized milk has a longer shelf life than that of raw milk. The pros of using pasteurized milk: It is cheaper and has a longer shelf life. It is available almost everywhere. The cons of using pasteurized milk: Some minerals and vitamins are lost.

Bottle of milk

Thus, dairy kefir can be made by using raw milk, pasteurized milk or UHT milk. All the three types of milk have their own set of advantages and disadvantages. It depends on your taste which kind of milk you will choose for making dairy kefir.

Kefir is een gefermenteerd melkproduct dat bekend staat om zijn enorme voordelen voor de gezondheid. Hoewel de smaak van kefir vergelijkbaar is met yoghurt, bevat kefir veel gunstiger eigenschappen dan yoghurt. De beste vorm van kefir kan worden gemaakt met rauwe melk. Echter, kan kefir met eerder welke melk gemaakt worden, want verse rauwe biologische melk, is vrij duur en de beschikbaarheid is ook niet zo geweldig. Er zijn ook andere overwegingen, zoals houdbaarheid. In dit artikel zullen we praten over de verschillende soorten melk die gebruikt kunnen worden voor het maken van melkkefir. Wij zullen ook discussiëren over de voor- en nadelen van elk type melk.

1. UHT-melk:
Kefir kan met UHT (ultra-warmtebehandeling) melk gemaakt worden. Dit is het soort melk die onderworpen wordt aan een temperatuur van ~135 ° C gedurende twee seconden. Dit proces resulteert in het doden van de aanwezige ziektekiemen in de melk . Daarom kunnen we UHT-melk in de verpakking voor ongeveer negen maanden bewaren zonder enige noodzaak van koeling. Echter, sommige nutriënten gaan door de melk te verwarmen bij dergelijke hoge temperaturen. Veel mensen klagen over de onaangename smaak van UHT-melk. Echter, dit soort melk is goedkoop en betaalbaar en geschikt voor het maken van melkkefir. Wanneer UHT melk wordt gebruikt voor het maken melkkefir, een dikke kefir kan worden verkregen. De pro’s van het gebruik van UHT-melk: Het is goedkoop, gemakkelijk verkrijgbaar in de markt en heeft de langste houdbaarheid. De nadelen van het gebruik van UHT-melk: verlies aan voedingswaarde en het heeft een lichte onaangename smaak die niet geliefd is bij veel mensen.

2. Rauwe melk:
Kefir kan worden gemaakt met rauwe melk. Volledig onbewerkte melk heet rauwe melk. Rauwe melk smaakt beter en is veel voedzamer dan verwerkte melk. Rauwe melk is niet beschikbaar in vele landen. Er zijn maar weinig plaatsen waar rauwe melk beschikbaar is, het is tevens meestal duurder. De pro’s van het gebruik van rauwe melk: Het smaakt heerlijk en is zeer voedzaam. De nadelen van het gebruik van rauwe melk: de hygiëne en veiligheid van de melk kan niet garandeert worden. Bovendien, rauwe melk is niet beschikbaar in vele landen. Rauwe melk is ook het kortst houdbaar.

3. Gepasteuriseerde melk:
Kefir kan worden gemaakt met gepasteuriseerde melk. Dit is het soort melk dat wordt verwarmt tot een temperatuur van 70 ° C. Omdat de melk wordt verwarmd, belangrijke vitaminen en mineralen gaan verloren. Gepasteuriseerde melk heeft een langere houdbaarheid dan die van rauwe melk. De pro’s van het gebruik van gepasteuriseerde melk: Het is goedkoper en heeft een langere houdbaarheid. Het is bijna overal verkrijgbaar. De nadelen van het gebruik van gepasteuriseerde melk: Sommige mineralen en vitaminen verloren.

fles melk
Aldus kan melkkefir gemaakt worden met rauwe melk, gepasteuriseerde melk of UHT melk. Alle drie melksoorten hebben hun eigen set van voor- en nadelen. Het hangt af van jou smaak wat voor soort melk die je kiest voor het maken van melkkefir.

Health Benefits of Probiotic Drink, Kefir

Kefir is a cultured dairy product, and is one of the richest probiotic foods on Earth. Asian and European folk medicines use this product to cure a wide range of illnesses and ailments. Fermented milk product from goat, cow or sheep milk, it is much like drinkable yoghurt. It is high in calcium, vitamin B12 and K2, magnesium, enzymes, folate, biotin, and especially, probiotics. Kefir’s nutritional value may vary, as per the animal, region and cultures. Kefir can be made not only from milk, but from water and coconut milk as well. Make probiotic drink, Kefir a regular part of your diet, and it will benefit you in several healthy ways:

  • Boosts your immunity

  • Helps in fighting some allergies

  • Builds bone density

  • Heals inflammatory bowel diseases

  • Improve digestion of lactose

  • Supports detoxification

water kefir grains

What should live water kefir grains look like ? Click on the pic to see a nice closeup.


Kefir’s probiotic health benefits

Kefir grains can actually ferment milk in 24 hours, and may convert raw milk into a highly rich probiotic drink. Probiotic drink, Kefir proves to be a refreshing, naturally carbonated drink that has numerous medicinal benefits. Rich in Bifidobacterium bifidum and Lactobacillus acidophilus, Kefir also supplies sufficient amounts of beneficial yeast and lactic acid bacteria. The mixture of beneficial microbiota present in Kefir makes it one of the most nutritious probiotic drinks you can have.

  • Regular consumption of probiotic drink, Kefir can actually inhibit growth of breast cancer

  • Kefir has lactic acid bacteria, that can bind funguses and aflatoxins, thus preserve healthful genetic expression

  • If you are sick, you can skip antibiotics and drink Kefir instead. Researches have proves that probiotics work better than antibiotics to eliminate an infectious agent, and also alleviate the symptoms

  • Kefir is known to build bone density, and reduce risks of osteoporosis. Kefir increases absorption of magnesium and calcium in the body, in addition to other bone building minerals like phosphorus, vitamin K2 and vitamin D

  • Strains of bifidobacterium and lactobacillus in Kefir is highly helpful in treating IBS and IBD

  • Kefir is found to positively affect asthma and allergies too. Kefir works by suppressing IgE immunoglobulins, T-helper cells and interleukin-4 inflammatory markers, and may thus prevent asthma

So, if you are looking for a substitute of yoghurt that you can drink, then go for probiotic drink, Kefir. It is naturally sweet, slightly bubbly, mild and tangy in taste. It is much similar to yoghurt, but with much more nutritional value.

Kombucha Benefits

Kombucha is a fermented beverage made with sugar, tea, yeast and bacteria. Although it is sometimes called as a kombucha mushroom tea, it is not mushroom. It is a yeast and bacteria colony. This beverage is made by adding this colony to tea and sugar, and allowing fermentation. The beverage that is prepared contains B Vitamins, vinegar and several chemical compounds. Kombucha is known to stimulate immune system, improve digestion, aid liver function and prevent cancer. However, there are several other Kombucha benefits you should be aware of. Let’s have a look.

  • Detoxification: Kombucha has immense detoxifying capacity, and can effectively counteract toxicity in the liver cell. It has noticeable antioxidant activity, and can be extremely beneficial to fight liver diseases.

  • Digestion: Its antioxidant properties counteract free radicals that affect your digestive system. High levels of probiotics, enzymes and acids support digestion in a positive way. It also has the ability to heal and prevent stomach ulcers and leaky guts. It is known to be as effective as Prilosec, which is a common drug recommended for GERD, ulcer and heartburn.

  • Energy levels: Black tea releases iron during fermentation, which is enough to invigorate a person and increase his energy levels. This iron also boosts hemoglobin in the blood, thus improving supply of oxygen to the tissues, and stimulating energy production at cellular levels.

  • Immunity: It improves your immunity by controlling free radicals through its antioxidant properties. Vitamin C and DSL present in this beverage provide protection against cell damage, tumors, inflammatory diseases, depression and other immunity related disorders.

  • Joint care and health: Kombucha is highly helpful in repairing, healing and preventing joint damage. It is rich in glucosamines, which are known to increase production of synovial hyaluronic acid in the body. This acid helps in preserving collagen and preventing arthritic pain. Similarly, it aids joint collagen and reduces wrinkle appearance.

  • Weight management: Kombucha can limit accumulation or fat, and improve metabolism. It has high polyphenols and acetic acid content, which are proven to aid weight loss.

Kombucha is a fantastic health drink that tastes something between champagne and apple cider. However, the taste may differ depending on the tea being used. Make Kombucha drink a regular part of your schedule, and enjoy all the health benefits it has to offer.

May I use metal utensils while making Kefir ?

Kefir grains are believed to be a great blessing from Prophet Mohammad, have innumerable qualities to induce a good health. Hence when preparing kefir milk, one must be aware of the utensils and other things that are used in the process. It is a big question nowadays as to whether metal objects can be used when preparing milk kefir.

The fact is, when this unique product was first used, there was nothing like metal utensils. But with the advancement of technology, modern people use various types of utensils and containers for their regular cooking and storing requirements. But if you are making milk kefir, you better not use metal objects.

There are certain reasons why metal items cannot be used while making kefir. The first reason is that kefir grains are acidic in nature and so when they come in contact with reactive metals they readily react.

Which metals should be avoided?

Metals like brass, iron, copper, zinc and aluminum are the most common among the reactive metals. If kefir grains are stored, or kefir milk is prepared and stored in containers made of any of these metals, the metallic ions of the container will come in contact with the grains that are naturally acidic. If these ions from the heavy metal containers accumulate on a regular basis, toxic levels can rise thereby contaminating the milk thus produced. Its harmful effects can be fatal as well.

Today stainless steel is a popular metal that is used to make various types of utensils. It is an inert metal and is therefore used in preparing kefir in stainless steel utensils. The sieves, bowls and containers can safely be used to store kefir water or milk and the spoon too can be used to stir the milk kefir.

We advise NOT to use metal utensils while making kefir

We advise NOT to use most metal utensils while making kefir

The best options :

However the most inert element is glass and is therefore the safest for storing kefir as it is absolutely non-reactive. Plastic and stainless steel strainers can be easily used in the making of kefir. A bamboo strainer can work well too. It is available in different sizes and shapes. The thin bamboo strips are unique kefir strainers. Ideas and lifestyle has changed. But if the advantages of kefir milk are to be enjoyed, one must avoid using metals. Glass, wood or plastics are the best choices.

We advise to use plastic or wooden utensils while making kefir

We advise to use plastic or wooden utensils while making kefir

All about making kefir with a freeze-dried starter

All about the kefir starter culture

Kefir is a probiotic drink which is well known for its various health benefits. The healing qualities of kefir have been known since the ancient times. It is a traditional health drink that is recommended to everyone. Many people prepare kefir at home. The trick with making kefir at home is using the proper starter culture. The starter culture is nothing but the kefir grains which are a combination of acetic acid bacteria, lactic acid microorganisms and some beneficial yeast that work in a symbiotic relationship with each other. The metabolic product that results due to the fermentation of these organisms is responsible for the probiotic quality of the kefir.

The probiotic organisms that are found in kefir live inside the intestine of human beings and protect the body from several harmful pathogens. In this way, the body is detoxified and the immune system is strengthened.

The ingredients of the starter culture:

The organisms that constitute the starter culture are Lactococcus species, Lactobacillus species, Saccharomyces species and Candida species.

Storing the starter culture:

Here are some of the ways by which you can store the starter culture:

  1. The temperature at which the culture is stored should be between 0-10 degree Celsius.
  2. Each box of the starter culture can contain up to ten small 1 gram foil-packets of culture.
  3. Once you open a foil-packet, you should not store back the remaining culture.

Steps for preparing kefir:

  1. You best use pasteurized milk for preparing kefir. In case you decide to use raw milk, you must heat it at 63 degree Celsius and then cool it down to about 24 degree Celsius.
  2. You should add the starter culture to the milk and then stir it properly.
  3. After stirring it well, you should keep the mixture undisturbed at 24-29 degree Celsius for 14-16 hours.
  4. Lastly, put the mixture in the refrigerator until it cools down to 10 degree Celsius. Don’t stir the mixture.

After following the simple four steps, you will get the final product called kefir. The quality of the kefir depends largely upon the milk that you are using. The milk should be fresh and pasteurized. If you are not satisfied with the final product, then you can use another brand of milk.

If you are thinking of preparing kefir many times, then you can use the final product as the starter culture. You can add about 2 tablespoons of the final product in 1 liter of milk. In this case, it would take 2-3 hours less for fermentation.

Alles over de gevriesdroogde kefir starter cultuur

Kefir is een probiotische melkdrank die bekend staat om zijn verschillende voordelen voor de gezondheid. De helende eigenschappen van kefir zijn bekend sinds de oudheid. Het is een traditioneel gezondheidsdrank die wordt aanbevolen voor iedereen. Veel mensen bereiden kefir thuis. Het maken van kefir thuis wordt gedaan met behulp van de kefir starter. De kefir starter is niets anders dan gevriesdroogde kefir culturen. De combinatie van azijnzuur bacteriën, melkzuur micro-organismen en enkele gunstige gisten die werken in een symbiotische relatie met elkaar. De metaboliet die als gevolg van de fermentatie van deze organismen verantwoordelijk is voor de probiotische kwaliteit van de kefir.

De probiotische organismen die gevonden worden in kefir leven in de darm van de mens en beschermen het lichaam tegen verschillende schadelijke ziekteverwekkers. Op deze wijze is het lichaam ontgift en het immuunsysteem wordt versterkt.

De ingrediënten van de kefir starter cultuur:

De organismen die de starter cultuur vormen zijn Lactococcus, Lactobacillus, Saccharomyces en Candida-soorten.

Het bewaren van de starter cultuur:

Hier zijn de manieren waarop u de gevriesdroogde kefir starter cultuur of kefirpoeder kunt bewaren :

  1. De temperatuur waarbij de kefirpoeder moet worden opgeslagen tussen 0-10 graden Celsius.
  2. Elke doos van de starter cultuur kan tot tien kleine 1 gram folie-pakketjes van kefirpoeder bevatten.
  3. Zodra u een folie-pakket geopend heeft, word het niet aangeraden om de resterende cultuur te bewaren in een geopende verpakking.

Stappen voor het voorbereiden kefir :

  1. U kan het best gepasteuriseerde melk gebruiken voor het bereiden van kefir. In het geval u besluit om rauwe melk te gebruiken, moet u de melk verwarmen op 63 graden Celsius en koel het dan naar af tot ongeveer 24 graden Celsius..
  2. U moet de kefir starter cultuur toevoegen aan de melk en roer het geheel goed om.
  3. Na het roeren, moet u het mengsel ongestoord behouden op 24-29 graden Celsius gedurende 14-16 uur.
  4. Ten slotte zet het mengsel in de koelkast tot het is afgekoeld tot 10 graden Celsius. Het mengsel niet roeren.

Na het volgen van deze vier eenvoudige stappen, zult u het uiteindelijke product genaamd kefir krijgen. De kwaliteit van de kefir, hangt grotendeels af van de melk die u gebruikt. De melk moet vers en gepasteuriseerd zijn. Als u niet tevreden bent met het uiteindelijke product, dan kunt u best met een andere melk gebruiken.

Als u denkt kefir meerdere malen te bereiden, dan kunt u het uiteindelijke eindproduct gebruiken om een nieuwe kefir batch aan te maken. U kunt ongeveer 2 eetlepels van het eindproduct toevoegen in 1 liter melk. In dit geval zou het 2-3 uur minder duren voor fermentatie is voltooid.

The Benefits of Lactic Acid Fermentation

Most often we consume many good foods about which we hardly have any idea as to what it actually is or its benefits. The best example of such foods is yogurt, pickled vegetables and many others. All these specialty foods use lactic acid fermentation which is a biological process in which glucose and sucrose or lactose and other types of sugars are changed into metabolite lactate and cellular energy.

What causes lactic acid fermentation ?

Fungi and bacteria are responsible for causing lactic acid fermentation and the most important bacteria are Lactobacillus. Today, at every step we consume anti-biotic to fight diseases. Although these are bacteria, they sometimes kill the good bacteria present in the human body that offer immunity and the strength to fight diseases. Hence it is necessary that we have lactic acid fermented products that will keep the immune system working properly.

Lactic acid fermentation is used to produce various types of specialty foods all over the world. In the Western world, yogurt, sour dough bread, olives and cucumber pickles are common items, while in other parts of the world it is used in pickled vegetables, Kimchi which is fermented combination of radishes, Chinese cabbage, garlic, red pepper and ginger, kefir, fermented milks, fermented cereal and milk mixture, fermented rice and shrimp mixture and many others for their unique health benefits.sauerkraut The sour taste present in these foods is due to lactic acid fermentation. It also improves the safety and microbiological stability of the foods. Cheese, yogurt and kefir are the best examples of lactic acid fermented foods are a little sour in taste. The sugar contents present in cabbage act as preservatives when converted into lactic acid.

Advantages of lactic acid fermentation

The benefits of consuming lactic acid fermented foods are endless. Here is a list of only a few of the advantages that you will enjoy:

  • Lactic acid fermented foods like kimchi, sauerkraut, yogurt, kefir etc. and other fermented vegetables help to maintain and also restore the required levels of good bacteria and improve digestive health too.
  • If beneficial bacteria are present in the body, you can prevent attacks of other diseases that are caused by harmful bacteria.
  • Lactobacillus plantarum which is one of the most used lactic acid fermentation bacteria present in a huge amount in fermented cabbage, sauerkraut etc has wonderful medicinal effects on the consumer.
  • It supplies Vitamin C.
  • Reduces chances of diarrhea.
  • Effective in dealing with constipation and bowel movement problems and pains.
  • Reduces flatulence and bloating to a great extent and thereby relieves bowel related pains.
  • Enhances the digestive system.
  • Since antioxidants are present in the lactic acid fermented foods, they help to reduce free radicals.
  • Lactose is hard to digest. But the fermentation process turns it into lactic acid that is easily digestible.
  • Helps to produce Omega 3 fatty acid which is greatly beneficial for digestion and healthy living.

It is not that difficult to prepare your own lactic acid fermented foods like yogurt, kefir etc. Since they are fermented by using friendly bacteria namely Lactobacillus, you can keep yourself healthy by working up a little. All you need is milk, live yogurt and a sterile container and the process is very easy. Another unique lactic acid fermented porridge is Magou made with maize and wheat flour that contains the bacteria. Kefir fermentation is more of less like yogurt fermentation. The difference is that kefir uses not only bacteria but yeast also for fermentation. The kefir grains contain proteins, carbohydrates and lipids and when fermented are extremely good for health. You can also make your own fermented vegetables. You can also opt for organic ingredients that you rely on for a better and a healthier life.

Most often we consume many good foods about which we hardly have any idea as to what it actually is or its benefits. The best example of such foods is yogurt, pickled vegetables and many others. All these specialty foods use lactic acid fermentation which is a biological process in which glucose and sucrose or lactose and other types of sugars are changed into metabolite lactate and cellular energy.

 

The History and Myth of Kefir

The history of milk kefir was initially part of a legend and a bit mysterious too. People living in the northern slopes of Mountain Caucasian believe that Mohammad, the Great Prophet gave kefir grains to the Orthodox people and showed them how to make it as well. They guarded the grains and the knowledge given to them by the Prophet for fear of losing their strength. The kefir grains became the families’ and the tribe’s wealth and the uses and techniques of preparation were known to the future generations only.

Milk kefir grains

Milk kefir grains

What is Kefir ?

Kefir is a milk product made from the milk of goats, cows and sheep also. There were sacks made of animal skin in which kefir was made. The sacks were kept in a way that it came in contact with direct sunlight which helped in the fermenting process of the milk. In the evening the sacks were carried back home and hung behind the doors so that people passing the door would prod them with their hands or feet so that the content mixes well. More fresh milk was added after the kefir was taken out so that the fermentation process did not stop. This exclusive food was enjoyed by these people for many years. They believed that the beverage prepared with it had magical properties.

How it came to be known worldwide

However, around the 19th century, Russian doctors believed that kefir had great healing properties like treating tuberculosis and other intestinal disorders and published the first scientific research studies. To produce the grains the source of the grains were required urgently to use this unique food for treating ailing patients. The Blandov brothers owned a Dairy in Moscow as well as properties in the Mountains of Caucasus area. They were asked to gather the grains of kefir so that they could be manufactured on a large scale in Moscow itself. Although it was not an easy process, finally the grains were brought to Russia by princess Irina and the first bottles of kefir drink were on sale in Moscow in 1908. They were consumed especially for medicinal values. In the 1930s commercial production began in large quantities.

Since the original method was not appropriate for large scale manufacturing, scientific methods were used to obtain this useful food. In 1950s, VNIMI invented easier methods that included fermentation, agitation, coagulation, ripening and then cooling in huge vessels. The Soviet Food Minister thanked Irina for bringing this invaluable grains to Russia. Today, kefir is the most popularly used fermented milk in Russia. In modern times, kefir is manufactured in Finland, Norway, Hungary, Poland, Bulgaria, Russia and other places also like USA, West Germany, Canada and Denmark on a commercial scale.

What it looks like and its health benefits

Kefir grains look like small-size cauliflowers more or less like wheat kernels. They are processed in such a way in leather sacks that they naturally ferment. These grains contain innumerable gelatinous micro-organisms and casein that are symbiotically grown together. Yeast is also present in the grains. These micro-organisms are extremely useful for health and makes kefir so different from other milk products that are cultured in different ways. This self-carbonated beverage has probiotic properties and offers medicinal benefits for which the effervescent drink is so popular worldwide. It contains high levels of calcium, magnesium, vitamin B12, K2, enzymes, folate and biotin and other unique nutrients that boosts immunity, increases bone density, fights allergies, supports detoxification and improves lactose digestion as well.

Milk kefir grains are named differently in different places like Kefir Yogurt, Snow Lotus, Kewra, Bulgaros, The Grains of The Prophet Mohammad, Tibetan Mushroom, Yogurt Plant to name a few. It is an amazing drink that is enjoyed by all.

Milk kefir grains floating in raw milk

Milk kefir grains floating in raw milk

(Water kefir grains are also named differently, like tibicos (tibi), Japanese water crystals and California bees.)