Kefir package claims don't always accurately reflect composition of commercial products

This study analyzed five commercial kefir products and found inaccuracies in the information on the label, which is of great concern to the everyday consumer. Photo credit: BN Metras, MJ Holle, VJ Parker, MJ Miller, and KS Swanson

In recent years, interest in consuming kefir, a fermented milk beverage, has increased as there is evidence that it has health benefits and its affordability. A new study by researchers from the University of Illinois and Ohio State University published in JDS Communications found that 66% of commercial kefir products examined an overrated density of microorganisms and 80% contained bacterial species that were not on the label, which was potentially misleading to consumers.

Senior author Kelly S. Swanson, Ph.D., University of Illinois, Urbana, IL, USA believes that better quality control of kefir products is needed to demonstrate and understand their potential health benefits. “It is important for consumers to know the exact contents of the fermented foods they are consuming,” said Swanson.

Swanson and his research team purchased five kefir products from online vendors and stores in Urbana, IL, and analyzed two lots each. Although all five guaranteed guaranteed specific types of bacteria used in the fermentation, the team found that no product completely matched its label. All products contained Streptococcus salivarius and four out of five products contained Lactobacillus paracasei, even though they were not listed on the labels.

According to Dr. Swanson requires FDA classification as a “cultured dairy product” disclosure of added microorganisms. “Regulators and consumers must continue to scrutinize these products and demand higher levels of accuracy and quality,” he said.

The authors hope that this and future studies will draw attention to the effects of inaccurate labeling of kefir products.

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More information:
“Commercial kefir products whose marking accuracy of microbial composition and density was evaluated”, DOI: 10.3168 / jdsc.2020-0056

Quote: Kefir package claims do not always accurately reflect the composition of commercial products (2021 May 12) posted on May 12, 2021 from https://medicalxpress.com/news/2021-05-kefir-package-dont-accurately- composition.html

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