How Lactobacillus Fermentation Boosts Antioxidants in Wolfberry Juice

Jim Crocker
24th May, 2024

How Lactobacillus Fermentation Boosts Antioxidants in Wolfberry Juice

Image Source: Natural Science News, 2024

Key Findings

  • The study by Nanchang University explored how fermenting wolfberry juice with Lactobacillus plantarum NCU137 enhances its nutritional value and antioxidant properties
  • Fermentation significantly increased the content of free polyphenols and released bound polyphenols, boosting the juice's antioxidant activity
  • The optimal fermentation period for maximizing polyphenol content was identified as 24-48 hours, during which specific bound polyphenols peaked
The recent study conducted by Nanchang University[1] explored the transformation of polyphenols in wolfberry juice during fermentation by Lactobacillus plantarum NCU137. This research is significant as it provides insights into enhancing the nutritional value and antioxidant properties of wolfberry juice, a product derived from the goji berry plant known for its medicinal and nutritional benefits[2]. Polyphenols are naturally occurring compounds found in plants, known for their antioxidant properties, which help in protecting the body from harmful free radicals. In this study, the researchers observed that fermentation significantly increased the content of free polyphenols and released bound polyphenols, thus enhancing the antioxidant activity of the wolfberry juice. This process involved 19 identified free polyphenols, including scopoletin, pyrogallol, and dihydroferulic acid, and 16 bound polyphenols, such as p-coumaric acid, feruloyl hexoside, and caffeic acid. The study found a significant correlation between the generation and degradation of polyphenols during fermentation. Specific bound polyphenols peaked during the 24-48 hour fermentation period, indicating an optimal timeframe for maximizing polyphenol content. Additionally, the researchers noted a reduction in surface roughness and galacturonic acid content in the wolfberry residue, along with increased pectinase activity. This suggests substantial pectin degradation in the cell wall, which may be linked to the release of polyphenols, as pectin serves as carriers for these bound compounds. Moreover, the fermentation process increased the activity of polyphenol oxidase and peroxidase, enzymes that contribute to the breakdown of polyphenols. This enzymatic activity further facilitated the release and transformation of polyphenols, enhancing the antioxidant properties of the fermented juice. These findings align with previous research on the utilization of goji berry nutrients and resources. The comprehensive use of goji berry has been hampered by non-standardized production technology[2]. However, this study offers a novel technique to improve the processing and utilization of wolfberry juice, potentially leading to higher quality and more nutritious products. In comparison to earlier studies, such as the one on the incorporation of phenolic-rich extracts from olive leaves and olive mill wastewater into gluten-free breadsticks, which also aimed to enhance antioxidant activity and extend shelf-life[3], this study focuses on the natural fermentation process to achieve similar benefits. The use of Lactobacillus plantarum NCU137 in fermenting wolfberry juice not only improves its nutritional profile but also provides a natural and potentially more acceptable method for consumers seeking health benefits from functional foods. Furthermore, the study on volatile organic compounds (VOCs) produced by Bacillus velezensis L1, which demonstrated significant biocontrol effects against postharvest diseases in wolfberry fruit, highlights another aspect of enhancing the quality and shelf-life of wolfberry products[4]. While the focus of the VOC study was on disease control, both studies contribute to the broader goal of improving the overall quality and utility of wolfberry-derived products. In conclusion, the fermentation of wolfberry juice by Lactobacillus plantarum NCU137 offers a promising approach to enhance the antioxidant properties and nutritional value of the juice. By increasing the content of free and bound polyphenols, and understanding the enzymatic activities involved, this study provides valuable insights for the food processing industry, particularly in the context of improving wolfberry juice production and potentially other goji berry-derived products.



Main Study

1) Exploring the Biogenic Transformation Mechanism of Polyphenols by Lactobacillus plantarum NCU137 Fermentation and Its Enhancement of Antioxidant Properties in Wolfberry Juice.

Published 23rd May, 2024

Related Studies

2) A comprehensive review of goji berry processing and utilization.

3) Gluten-Free Breadsticks Fortified with Phenolic-Rich Extracts from Olive Leaves and Olive Mill Wastewater.

4) Volatile organic compounds produced by Bacillus velezensis L1 as a potential biocontrol agent against postharvest diseases of wolfberry.

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