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Potential of kefir as a dietetic beverage – a review

Purpose – Kefir, the self‐carbonated beverage, possesses nutritional attributes due to its content of vitamins, protein and minerals and therapeutic attributes contributed by its antibacterial spectrum, gastro‐intestinal proliferation, hypocholesterolemic effect, anti carcinogenic effect, L(+) lactic acid content, β ‐galactosidase activity and bacterial colonization. Inclusion of kefir in the diet as a dietetic beverage may confer nutritional and therapeutic advantages to the consumers. Design/methodology/approach – By reviewing the literature the chemical, microbiological, nutritional and therapeutic characteristics of kefir have been highlighted to justify its consumption as a dietary beverage. Findings – Kefir grains, kefir starter and kefir beverage vary considerably in microflora of bacterial and yeasts. The nutritional attributes of kefir are due to its chemical ingredients such as vitamins, protein and minerals and fermentation induces further enhancement in its nutritional profiles. Kefir exhibits varied therapeutic attributes due to possession of different therapeutic components. Kefir can be recommended for consumption by normal and sick adults as well as infants as a dietetic beverage. Originality/value – Due to various nutritional and therapeutic attributes of kefir, it may occupy an important place in the diet of those consumers inclined towards dietetic foods. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png British Food Journal Emerald Publishing
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