Tuesday, 26 January 2021

Singapore creates gut friendly probiotic coffee and tea drinks

12 January 2021 | News

Many health benefits of tea have been linked to it containing ‘polyphenol’ molecules

Image credit: NUS

Image credit: NUS

Researchers at the National University of Singapore (NUS) have recently created new probiotic coffee and tea drinks that are packed with gut-friendly live probiotics. Supervised by Associate Professor Liu Shao Quan from NUS Food Science and Technology, the two doctoral students who worked on these two new beverages assert that their drinks have a great taste, and can be stored chilled or at room temperature for more than 14 weeks without compromising on their probiotic viability.

A new probiotic tea

To create the new probiotic tea, Wang Rui, a doctoral student from NUS Food Science and Technology, added nutrients into a tea infusion, followed by a careful selection of specific probiotics. The tea mixture is left to ferment for two days, after which it is ready to drink.

Many health benefits of tea, such as its antioxidant or anti-inflammatory properties, have been linked to it containing ‘polyphenol’ molecules. By using the patented fermentation process, the polyphenol contents from the tea are retained, and an additional antibacterial agent – phenyllactate – is produced after fermentation. The drink also contains live probiotics which promote gut health.

A new probiotic coffee

Another doctoral student from the Department, Alcine Chan, created a new probiotic coffee by adding specially selected nutrients to brewed coffee, followed by carefully chosen probiotics. The coffee mixture is left to ferment for a day, and placed in the refrigerator following probiotic fermentation. After this process, the chilled probiotic coffee is ready to drink. Sugar and milk can be added before consumption if desired.

The caffeine content is retained, so people who consume coffee for caffeine can still get their fix. The probiotic coffee also kept the chlorogenic acid content, which has been linked to a lot of the health benefits of coffee.

Refining recipe

Each serving of probiotic tea and probiotic coffee contains at least 1 billion units of live probiotics. This the daily amount recommended by the International Scientific Association for Probiotics and Prebiotics.

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