Several food products prepared with the help of beneficial microbes can fit into the present day definition of Probiotics which have been consumed by mankind since ancient times. Beneficial microbes are the agents that produce many fermented foods and beverages, which are popular in different parts of the world. Indications about the use of products with healthy microbes are given in Vedic literature and are also depicted in ancient Egyptian and European treatises. However, systematic studies on Probiotics started after the publication of a book “Prolongation of life” by Eli Metchnikoff in 1907. During the last century, use of Probiotics as food and as pharma products got substantial rise. The Present Review intends to compile and analyze the literature pertaining to use of Probiotics as food products, especially for nutritional enrichment. The Review will focus on the key issues important to establishing the requirement to re-assure the efficacy and safety after strain development, process standardization, or product formulations, bioavailability of the live cells and biomolecules, effect of processing, etc.
The Review also deals with modes of incorporation of probiotics in food products, food matrices and use of prebiotics for supporting probiotics as well as nutritional enrichment Current literatures addressing the mechanisms of action for Probiotic function and the development of Novel Probiotic Foods with particular health claim and meeting the nutritional requirement through fermentation are greatly needed to better understand the product and its application.
Keywords: Probiotics, prebiotics, nutritional enrichment, fermented foods, bioavailability, efficacy, regulatory, safety, symbiotic, functional food