There is good and bad bacteria. Bacteria is quite commonly used in dairy products, for example in sour cream and yogurt. Studies have suggested that good bacteria or “probiotics” can improve one’s health or help with intestinal disorders. Fermented milk products can also be eaten by people with lactose intolernace, given that its is not heated up after the fermentation process. Furthermore, dairy is not the only food items that can be fermented – vegetables can too (i.e. the sour cabbage, sauerkraut) and vinegar is often used in wine making.
When looking at sales, it appears that probiotics have really taken off in Europe, Asia and South America. In the U.S. more than 150 foods with this “good bacteria” have been introduced in our market. Compare that to the fact that in 2006 it was only 100 and in 2004 it was only 40. Probiotics are quite a lucrative industry, in the U.S. alone the retail sales accumalte to about $764 million in 2005.
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