The powers of fermented foods

28 September 2022

Fermented foods are used in Asian and African cultures but recently there has also been an increase in their consumption in Europe due to the benefits deriving from them. Fermentation is an ancient technique used to improve the texture, digestibility and shelf life of different foods, while reducing several anti-nutritional factors. In the case of cereals, fermentation is considered useful for the release and production of a greater quantity of compounds, such as polyphenols and other antioxidants, compared to the starting product. In particular, in cereals there are many phenolic compounds that can be found in free or bound form. During the fermentation process, the hydrolysis activity of the microbial component favors both the release of bound phenols making them more accessible for absorption and the synthesis of new bioactive compounds.

The fermentation process developed by Agri San SRL (Larciano, PT), using organic wheat flours (Triticum aestivum), led to the development of a wheat lysate, called Lisosan G, rich in vitamins, antioxidants, oligoelements, and fatty acids polyunsaturated. Lisosan G can be taken alone or in combination with other food products such as bread, bakery products and pasta to improve their nutritional properties.

To date, numerous studies published by the Institute of Agricultural Biology and Biotechnology of the CNR of Pisa have demonstrated the detoxifying, antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effect of Lisosan G. The results of the research carried out on Lisosan G highlight the molecular mechanisms through which it acts on the antioxidant defense system of our organism, consisting of enzymes and molecules capable of maintaining toxic substances such as free radicals, which are formed inside, at physiological levels of the organism. The antioxidant system is controlled by a nuclear transcription factor, called Nrf2, which upon activation translocates from the cytoplasm to the nucleus, activating the expression of target enzymes. The experimental results demonstrate the ability of Lisosan G to activate Nrf2 and, consequently, induce the antioxidant system present in the body.

It has also been seen that Lisosan G is able to inhibit NFkB, a transcription factor involved in the activation of the inflammatory response. A microbial characterization performed on Lisosan G has highlighted three main genera of bacteria present: Lactobacillus, Enterococcus and Pediococcus which are recognized as safe and with high fermentation capacity; among the bacteria found, lactobacilli are those present in the highest concentration. The bacteria present in Lisosan G can contribute to the release of bioactive compounds capable of positively modulating the intestinal microbiota. It has also been seen that Lisosan G stimulates the growth of the bacterium Lactobacillus reuteri, which is an important component of the human intestinal microbiota and widely used as a probiotic for its health properties. The positive action on the growth of Lactobacillus reuteri suggests that Lisosan G may have important prebiotic properties. Other scientific works have shown important effects of Lisosan G on the improvement of the lipid profile; in particular, it has been found to act positively on fatty liver disease by significantly reducing the accumulation of fat in the liver.

Author: Vincenzo Longo


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