They are called “functional” and are those foods capable of producing significant beneficial effects on one or more functions of the organism, inducing health and well-being and, therefore, lowering the risk of contracting diseases. Yogurt, an intriguing topic in the next episode of Il Gusto della Salute, the scientific column edited by the immunologist Mauro Minelli, contact person for Southern Italy of the Foundation for Personalized Medicine, is fully part of this context. At the base of the creation of yogurt there is the acidification of milk (which can be sheep, goat or bovine) caused by the development and metabolic action of lactic bacteria that transform the lactose of milk into lactic acid. Therefore, lactose in yoghurt is left with such modest quantities as to be incapable of producing harmful effects even in intolerant subjects. In turn, the lowering of the pH of the milk depends on lactic acid which, on the one hand, creates an unfavorable environment for the development of unwanted microorganisms, on the other it favors the precipitation of milk proteins and the consequent formation of the clot which gives the yogurt its classic thickened appearance. The origins of yoghurt are ancient, whose reputation as a beneficial food is historically placed in the early years of the twentieth century when, after having identified a particular lactobacillus in yoghurt samples from Bulgarian production, there were those who attributed to it the power to dispense health and longevity. Hence the conviction that yogurt would be an important health food based on fermented milk, obtained by the combined action of some “good” microorganisms. So much so that in some Western Asian countries, where yogurt is believed to have originated, yogurt is an essential element in the diet of hospitalized patients. But what procedures do you use for yogurt production? Which lactic ferments are used? What are the nutritional values of yogurt? And does fruit change them? Which yogurt to choose at the supermarket? Is Greek yogurt better or whole white yogurt? And why? The answers to these and other questions in the new issue of Il Gusto della Salute, shot entirely at an artisan dairy in the Metaponto area, in the shadow of the famous Tavole Palatine, the historical border between Ionian Basilicata and Puglia. The appointment is set at 3.00 pm on Friday 27 May and will, as always, be shared by the ADNkronos channels.
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