A spectrophotometric bioassay was used to screen selected food ingredients intended for development of functional foods designed to influence the growth of gut bacteria.
International Journal of Food Science and Technology
A spectrophotometric bioassay was used to screen selected food ingredients intended for development of functional foods designed to influence the growth of gut bacteria. Dose–response profiles displaying Δgrowth, the magnitude of deviation from growth of controls, were generated for probiotics Lactobacillus reuteri, Lactobacillus rhamnosus, Bifidobacterium lactis and pathogens Escherichia coli, Salmonella Typhimurium and Staphylococcus aureus. Ingredients were manuka honey UMF™20+(dose-dependently increased probiotics and decreased pathogens); bee pollen (biphasic growth effects against all); Rosehips and BroccoSprouts® (increased all dose-dependently); blackcurrant oil (little effect) and propolis (inhibited all strains). Ingredients were also bioassayed in pairs to assess desirable or undesirable synergistic interactions. Observed synergies included manuka honey (predominantly desirable); rosehips or BroccoSprouts® (desirable and undesirable); blackcurrant oil (desirable) and propolis (tended towards synergies reinforcing its antimicrobial effects), collectively revealing a complex web of interactions which varied by ingredient and bacterial strain. Manuka honey was particularly effective at influencing gut bacteria. The surprising frequency of undesirable synergistic interactions illustrates the importance of pre-testing potential ingredient combinations intended for use in functional foods.