A category of the utilization on the lactic acid bacteria living in Japanese traditional fermented foods
I will introduce the activity as a researcher of lactic acid bacteria as follows.
Lactic acid bacteria (LAB) are generally well-known as the microorganism participating in the fermentation of yoghurt.Many persons in the world know of benefits to be got from LAB participating in yoghurt.Many Japanese also understand it. Therefore, Japanese eat yogurt very well. Much yogurt products are sold at markets and convenience stores of Japan, from it we can understand it easily.
At the mention of LAB, most people will automatically think of fermented foods using milk as raw material. Among the fermented milk-products yogurt is perhaps the best known of all.
The new product including LAB of a new concept came to be sold in recent Japan. The LAB of the new concept are them living in traditional fermented foods of Japan; fermented vegetable (tukemono), fermented soybean (miso and shoyu) and so on. Almost all of fermented foods of Japan are made of vegetations, in which some of LAB living have higher activity of benefits on human health maintenance than dairy-LAB for the fermented milk products. The LAB of the new concept are called Shokubutusei-nyusankinin the Japanese that is a meaning of the fermenting-plant origin LAB（plant-LAB）in the English.
The new product containing Shokubutusei-nyusankinis a kind of refreshing drinks made of mix juice from vegetables and fruits. It is a soft drink of low calorie, low protein and low fat and contained the plant-LAB which brings some kind of benefit of the high quality in human health maintenance. A lot of the Japanese woman drink it willingly, because their bowel movement improve.
Shokubutusei-nyusankin (plant-LAB) is a new concept for LAB advocated by Okada.The Shokubutusei-nyusankin(plant-LAB) is just LAB living in fermenting-vegetations, therefore they can not be taxonomically isolated from LAB-world. The name, Shokubutusei-nyusankin(plant-LAB), was acquired for the purpose of distinguishing the difference of the habitation place from the lactic acid bacteria in the fermentation of milk (dairy-LAB).
Recently, many Japanese scientists made clear that the plant-LAB have unique-characteristics compared with dairy-LAB as follows. The plant-LAB are living in more severe environment than dairy-LAB, namely a lot of inhibitory compounds from vegetations are contained in the environments they are living. Therefore the plant-LAB can survive in severe environments such as the stomach-acid or the intestinal juice, and they can arrive at the large intestine of us with living cells. Moreover, some strain of plant-LAB has the immunostimulation activity that is stronger than dairy-LAB.
Japanese did not have the dietary habit to eat dairy products for a long time until around the end of 19 century. A lot of lactic acid bacteria live in not only fermented dairy products but also Japanese traditional fermented foods composed of vegetations.
Japanese did not eat dairy products containing dairy-LAB historically, but had been contacted with plant-LAB contained in traditional fermented foods composed of vegetations for a long time. It is estimated that Japanese had been able to get various benefit of high activity from plant-LAB for keeping their health maintenance.
We recently knew that we can obtain various benefit same as dairy-LAB from plant-LAB in the Japanese fermented foods. The benefits from plant-LAB are generally higher level than them from dairy-LAB. We knew these, and it began to utilize the plant-LAB for everyday life as refreshing drinks of a new category.
The plant-LAB of a new concept is recognized worldwide and we hopes that it helps the health maintenance for world people.
The research field of the plant-LAB developed in my university (TUA). TUA is a research stronghold for the plant-LAB of not only Japan but also world. I want to develop the study-interchange on LAB with each EU country where the research of the fermented milk develops.
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I would like to introduce traditional Japanese fermented foods that are not so famous.
- Sunki: fermented turnip leaves (participate lactic acid bacteria)
- Goishi-cha: fermented tea leaves(participate lactic acid bacteria and molds).
- Sen-dango: fermeted sweet potato (participate molds).
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