Improved Iron Solubility in Fermented Carrot Juice

While the following research was performed in a laboratory with very controlled conditions, the information we can glean from this is that lactic-acid fermentation improves carrots –

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  • Increases availability of iron
  • Increases mineral availability
  • Decreases phytic-acid which is an anti-nutrient

This type of change and increase in nutrient availability is standard across all ferments, yet again confirming what nutritional experts have been saying, lacto-fermented foods are a necessary and vital part of our daily diet!

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Improved iron solubility in carrot juice fermented by homo- and hetero-fermentative lactic acid bacteria

Improved iron solubility in carrot juice fermented by homo- and hetero-fermentative lactic acid bacteria

S. W. Bergqvist, , A. -S. Sandberg, N. -G. Carlsson and T. Andlid

Department of Chemistry and Bioscience/Food Science, Chalmers University of Technology, Box 5401, 402 29, Gothenburg, Sweden

Received 20 January 2004; accepted 30 April 2004. Available online 24 August 2004.

To evaluate lactic acid fermentation as a means to increase the availability of iron in carrot juice, two strains (Lactobacillus pentosus FSC1 and Leuconostoc mesenteroides FSC2), two types of carrot juice and two modes of fermentation were compared. Fermentation improved iron solubility up to 30 fold. The total mineral content and the yield of soluble iron differed between the two types of juice.
Addition of pectolytic enzyme and cellulase further improved iron solubility in fermented juice by about 10%. L. pentosus FSC1 yielded the largest improvement in soluble iron, which was not simply a result of a decrease in pH. The concentration of soluble iron in Ln. mesenteroides FSC2 fermentation was linearly related to the major acids produced. Besides, the mineral inhibitor phytate was completely degraded in all the fermentations.

Lactic acid fermentation strongly improves iron solubility in carrot juice. The level of improvement was strain specific and related to the produced acids rather than a simple pH effect. Composition of carrot juice and addition of viscosity-reducing enzymes also contributed to this improvement. Our study suggests that carrot juice with high mineral availability may be achieved by fermentation using selected starter cultures, substrate and process.

Author Keywords: Iron solubility; Mineral availability; Lactic acid fermentation; Lactic acid bacteria; Biotechnology; Phytate; Organic acids; Carrot juice