Grain fermentation can produce a cost-effective, vegan alternative to B12 fortification

People eating a plant-based diet are recommended supplements, including B12, in order to fill some key nutritional gaps.

B12 is naturally found in animal products including milk, cheese and eggs. Although some fortified breakfast cereals are good sources of B12, it is not found naturally in foods such as fruit, vegetables and grains. Meanwhile, the most common supplemental form of B12 is synthetic, possibly a concern among consumers. Discoveries of potential plant-based sources of B12 are therefore potentially hugely significant.

The study suggests that with the help of the fermentation process, vegans can be guaranteed a sufficient and safe B12 intake directly from grain-based food, without pills.

In his doctoral dissertation, Chong Xie from the Faculty of Agriculture and Forestry, University of Helsinki, used 11 different grain-based materials including cereals, pseudocereals and legumes and fermented them with Propionibacterium freudenreichii — the only B12-producing micro-organism accepted for food products.

Propionibacterium freudenreichii, the essential microbe in Emmental cheese, produced nutritionally significant amounts of vitamin B12 in most of the fermented grain materials. During the three-day fermentation process, rice bran and buckwheat bran had the highest B12 production.

The addition of Lactobacillus brevis – a type of lactic acid bacteria found in milk products and in some plants as they decompose – was able to dominate indigenous microbes during fermentation and therefore greatly improve microbial safety during the fermentation process. In general, brans and legume flours demonstrated a higher production of vitamin B12 than did cereal and pseudocereal flours.

Next Post

Healthy Community Coalition offers free pop-up virtual Cooking Matters in August

Mon Aug 10 , 2020
Healthy Community Coalition is offering free pop-up on location virtual “Cooking Matters at the Store” shopping tours throughout Franklin County through August. In an outside atmosphere, coalition educators will coordinate information with a fresh produce table, recipes, and activities that take people through a virtual trip at the store, according […]
Healthy Community Coalition offers free pop-up virtual Cooking Matters in August