Fermented milk products such as yogurts have been consumed for several thousand years and the belief that they are beneficial to health is probably equally ancient. But it is only in recent years that scientific support for these beliefs has begun to build. Fermented milk products, like the milk from which they are made, are rich in protein, vitamins and minerals. However, in addition to these purely nutritional properties, there is increasing support for a number of other health advantages. The evidence for some of these is stronger than for others. For example, while the support for improvement in tolerance of lactose by maldigesters of this disaccharide is now very robust, evidence to support the alleged ability of fermented milk products containing particular bacterial cultures to reduce cancer risk is still in its infancy. This paper focuses on the products recognized by Consumers as ‘yogurts’. It includes a comparison of the nutritional value of milk and yogurt, consideration of consumption trends and their impact on nutrition, and summarizes the strengths and weaknesses of the evidence associated with a number of suggested health benefits of biofermented milks.
International Journal of Dairy Technology – Wiley
Published: Feb 1, 1997
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