The paper ‘Viability of some probiotic coatings in bread and its effect on the crust mechanical properties’ published in the journal Food Hydrocolloids by R. Altamirano-Fortoul et.al found that probiotic lactobacillus acidophilus can be applied as a coating to bread to produce added health benefits.
“Overall results show that L. acidophilus included in microcapsules can be incorporated to bread surface through edible coatings, leading to bread with similar characteristics to common bread, but with additional healthy benefits,” said the study.
“Edible coatings have been used as a vehicle for microorganism and the physical properties of the resulting bread confirmed the potential use of this procedure for obtaining healthier baked goods,” it continued.
Probiotic bacteria often do not survive during processing and storage, which is seen as a limitation for application in food.
However, in the present study microencapsulated L. acidophilus survived and could protect microcapsules during baking and storage time.
The researchers added L. acidophilus to a starch-based coating and applied it to the surface of partially baked breads.
Partially baked breads were chosen because of the potential for obtaining functional bread combing microencapsulation and coating technologies due to the short baking time.
The researchers observed the survival of L. acidophilus after baking and after 24-hour storage. Fresh breads were sensory evaluated and the physical and chemical properties of bread crust were determined.
Further studies are currently underway to confirm the probiotic effects of these breads.
R. Altamirano-Fortoula, R. Moreno-Terrazasb, A. Quezada-Gallob, C.M. Rosell (2012) 'Viability of some probiotic coatings in bread and its effect on the crust mechanical properties,' Food Hydrocolloids, Vol. 29, Issue 1, October, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.foodhyd.2012.02.015