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The Many Faces of Kefir Fermented Dairy Products: Quality Characteristics, Flavour Chemistry, Nutritional Value, Health Benefits, and Safety

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Pharmacognosy Department, College of Pharmacy, Cairo University, Kasr El Aini St., P.B., Cairo 11562, Egypt
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Chemistry Department, School of Sciences & Engineering, The American University in Cairo, New Cairo 11835, Egypt
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Department of Bee Research, Plant Protection Research Institute, Agricultural Research Centre, Giza 12627, Egypt
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Pharmacognosy Group, Department of Medicinal Chemistry, Uppsala University, Biomedical Centre, Box 574, SE-751 23 Uppsala, Sweden
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Al-Rayan Research and Innovation Center, Al-Rayan Colleges, Medina 42541, Saudi Arabia
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International Research Center for Food Nutrition and Safety, Jiangsu University, Zhenjiang 212013, China
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Department of Molecular Biosciences, The Wenner-Gren Institute, Stockholm University, SE 106 91 Stockholm, Sweden
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Nutrients 2020, 12(2), 346; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu12020346
Received: 22 November 2019 / Revised: 14 January 2020 / Accepted: 18 January 2020 / Published: 28 January 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Role of Prebiotics and Probiotics in Health and Disease)
Kefir is a dairy product that can be prepared from different milk types, such as goat, buffalo, sheep, camel, or cow via microbial fermentation (inoculating milk with kefir grains). As such, kefir contains various bacteria and yeasts which influence its chemical and sensory characteristics. A mixture of two kinds of milk promotes kefir sensory and rheological properties aside from improving its nutritional value. Additives such as inulin can also enrich kefir’s health qualities and organoleptic characters. Several metabolic products are generated during kefir production and account for its distinct flavour and aroma: Lactic acid, ethanol, carbon dioxide, and aroma compounds such as acetoin and acetaldehyde. During the storage process, microbiological, physicochemical, and sensory characteristics of kefir can further undergo changes, some of which improve its shelf life. Kefir exhibits many health benefits owing to its antimicrobial, anticancer, gastrointestinal tract effects, gut microbiota modulation and anti-diabetic effects. The current review presents the state of the art relating to the role of probiotics, prebiotics, additives, and different manufacturing practices in the context of kefir’s physicochemical, sensory, and chemical properties. A review of kefir’s many nutritional and health benefits, underlying chemistry and limitations for usage is presented. View Full-Text
Keywords: kefir; composition; physicochemical properties; sensory characters; nutritional value; biological effects kefir; composition; physicochemical properties; sensory characters; nutritional value; biological effects
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Farag, M.A.; Jomaa, S.A.; Abd El-Wahed, A.; R. El-Seedi, H. The Many Faces of Kefir Fermented Dairy Products: Quality Characteristics, Flavour Chemistry, Nutritional Value, Health Benefits, and Safety. Nutrients 2020, 12, 346.

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