When you think of foods that contain bacteria, the first thing that comes to your mind might be an upset stomach. Eits! Wait a minute. Not all bacteria are bad, you know. Lactic acid bacteria, such as Lactobacillus, are a kind of good bacteria found in many healthy foods and drinks. What is the function, and what are the benefits of lactic acid bacteria for health?
What are lactic acid bacteria?
Lactic acid bacteria are a group of bacteria that are able to convert carbohydrates (glucose) to lactic acid. Some lactic acid bacteria have the potential to have a positive impact on human health and nutrition, some of which are increasing food nutritional value, preventing intestinal infections, improving lactose digestion, preventing certain types of cancer (especially colon and gastric cancer), and controlling blood cholesterol levels .
Our body can actually produce lactic acid itself. Well, lactic acid functions to convert carbohydrates into energy if oxygen levels in the blood are low. While lactic acid in food is generally used as a way to prolong the life of food and as a good nutrient given to the human intestine.
Foods and beverages containing lactic acid bacteria
Certain bacteria, such as Lactobacillus and Streptococcus, naturally produce lactic acid. Now one of the famous drinks made from lactic acid bacteria is yogurt. Yogurt is made by adding a mixture of beneficial bacteria, such as Lactobacillus bulgaricus and Streptococcus thermophilus into milk.
These bacteria produce lactic acid during the fermentation process with lactose in milk. Lactose is a sugar found in milk, while lactic acid that appears can reduce the pH level of fermented milk. Where this can cause the protein in fermented milk to thicken and give sour-flavored milk yogurt.
2. Pickled vegetables and Kimchi
Pickled vegetables are generally made from cucumbers and carrots which are mixed with acidic and salt liquids. These vegetable pickles are basically also made of lactic acid Lactic acid plays a key role in the fermentation process which produces a different sour taste in pickles or kimchi.
Because, lactic acid bacteria like Lactobacillus, convert carbohydrates to lactic acid without the need for oxygen. Also note that the acid fermentation process in kimchi or vegetable pickles is made by covering the food in an airtight container for some time. So, sour taste arises because lactic acid bacteria that grow naturally as long as food is fermented.
The cheese you usually eat is one of the dairy products that contain lactic acid bacteria in it. Some types of bacteria include thermophillus, bifudus, bulgaricus, and acidophilus which are useful for boosting the immune system and healthy digestion.
Wine is made from fermented wine mixed with lactic acid bacteria. After fermenting the sugar content in wine into alcohol, bacteria convert grape acid to malic acid and lactic acid. Well, this is what makes wine taste in wine unique and can be consumed.
Not many understand that tofu is a food that also contains lactic acid bacteria in it. Together with vitamin B 12, the content of lactic acid or probiotic bacteria in the tofu is good for boosting your immune system. Even the protein content in tofu is higher than protein from a glass of milk.
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