The experimental activities carried out in this study aimed at designing a lentil-based beverage rich in soluble and digestible proteins. In order to extract soluble proteins, lentil grains were soaked in water overnight, blended, treated with proteolytic enzymes and fermented with Lactobacillus
strains. Protein enzymatic hydrolysis, carried out with four commercial food grade enzyme preparations, showed that bromelin, at the enzyme to substrate ratio of 10%, was the best solution to produce this novel beverage. Even though the seven Lactobacillus
strains were all able to ferment aqueous extract within 24 h, L. acidophilus
ATCC 4356, L. fermentum
DSM 20052 and L. paracasei
DSM 20312 showed the highest growth rate and the lowest pH values. In fermented lentil-based beverages, the antinutritional factor phytic acid decreased up to 30%, similarly, the highest reduction in raffinose oligosaccharides content reached about 12% the initial concentration. It is worthy of note that the viable density of all strains remained higher than 7 log cfu/mL after 28 days of cold storage. The results here reported show for the first time the possibility to obtain a probiotic lentil-based beverage rich in soluble proteins, peptides and amino acids with low content in main antinutritional factors.
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