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Traditional fermented beverages from Mexico as a potential probiotic source

Romero-Luna, Haydee Eliza, Hernández-Sánchez, Humberto, Dávila-Ortiz, Gloria
Annals of microbiology 2017 v.67 no.9 pp. 577-586
Bifidobacterium, Lactobacillus, beverages, corn, digestive system diseases, fermentation, fermented foods, medicinal properties, nationalities and ethnic groups, probiotics, traditional technology, yeasts, Mexico
Fermentation is one of the oldest ways of processing food. Some fermented food is produced industrially, but can also be produced in an artisanal way by certain ethnic groups, called traditional fermented foods. In Mexico, there are a variety of traditional fermented beverages which are produced in an artisanal way. They include those made with maize (atole agrio, pozol, and tesgüino), fruit (tepache and colonche), and obtained by plant fermentation (pulque, tuba, and taberna). These beverages have been used since ancient times for religious and medicinal purposes. The medicinal effect may be due to fermented microorganisms. The presence of beneficial microorganisms known as probiotics provides beneficial effects to consumer health, improving the balance of intestinal host, and reducing the risk of gastrointestinal diseases, mainly. Most probiotics belong to the genus Lactobacillus, but Bifidobacterium, Bacillus, and yeast are also found. Therefore, it is important that the microbiological diversity of the beverages is studied and documented. This review includes information on the microbial diversity and probiotic potential of the most important traditional fermented beverages from Mexico.