• Application of Probiotic Bacteria to Functional Foods

      STANTON, CATHERINE; Ross, R Paul; Fitzgerald, Gerald F; Collins, K.; McBrearty, S.; Gardiner, Gillian E.; Desmond, C.; Kelly, J.; Bouchier, Paul J.; Lawless, Fergal; et al. (Teagasc, 2001-05-01)
      Probiotic cultures are described as live microbial feed supplements that improve intestinal microbial balance and are intended for maintenance of health or prevention, rather than the curing of disease. The demand for probiotic foods is increasing in Europe, Japan and the U.S. reflecting the heightened awareness among the public of the relationship between diet and health. Traditionally, the most popular food delivery systems for these cultures have been freshly fermented dairy foods, such as yogurts and fermented milks, as well as unfermented milks with cultures added. However, in the development of functional foods, the technological suitability of probiotic strains poses a serious challenge since their survival and viability may be adversely affected by processing conditions as well as by the product environment and storage conditions. This is a particular concern, given that high levels (at least 107 per gram or ml) of live micro-organisms are recommended for probiotic products. In previous studies (see DPRC No. 29) the successful manufacture of probiotic Cheddar cheese harbouring high levels (>108 cfu/g) of the probiotic Lactobacillus paracasei NFBC 338 strain was reported. Hence, the overall objective of these studies was to continue the development and evaluation of Functional Foods containing high levels of viable probiotic bacteria, with particular emphasis on overcoming the technological barriers and the identification of strains suited to particular applications, such as incorporation into Cheddar cheese and spray-dried powders.
    • Nutrition: Nutritional Attributes of Animal and Milk Fat (CLA).

      STANTON, CATHERINE; Lawless, Fergal; Murphy, John; Aherne, Seamus; Devery, Rosaleen; O'Shea, Marianne (Teagasc, 2000-09-01)
      In the recent past, there has been considerable interest in the potential health-promoting properties of conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), a fatty acid produced naturally in ruminant animals. CLA has been shown to be a very effective anti-cancer agent in animal models and cell culture studies, as well as being capable of retarding the initiation and progression of heart disease (atherosclerosis). It has also been shown to have potential as a growth promoter and is capable of improving feed efficiency. Hence from a human health viewpoint, it appears desirable to increase CLA levels in foods to protect against disease and enhance general health and well-being. The primary sources of CLA are animal fats (including dairy fats) derived from ruminant animals while vegetable fats and oils contain significantly lower levels. This project was aimed at enriching the CLA content of dairy foods through animal dietary manipulation, and milk fat fractionation.