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Biofortification of natural Vitamin B12 in plant-food

Hochschule Fulda

Lu Gao
#wettbewerb #2021
Hochschule Fulda

Vegan culture in Germany prioritizes unprocessed, natural, and wholesome products, more specifically organic, with no additives. This credo has a fallacy, however: the fact that one essential nutrient, vitamin B12, cannot be provided. This led to our study of alternative ways to include vitamin B12 organically, rather than synthesizing it in a laboratory. In our first study, we were able to enrich B12 contents in bread with an active B12 producing probiotic strain. However, the complexity and long period of the fermentation process is often a problem for the manufactures. To overcome this, we leveraged the existing work with other B12 producing lactic acid bacteria. Such as the yoghurt-type fermentation, which has a short fermentation period and rapid acidification provide microbial safety and cost-effectiveness for the manufactures. We then came up with a revolutionary idea: the development of an optimized co-fermentation process combining both bacteria species that can reduce the complexities and enhances significantly the level of vitamin B12, meanwhile ensuring microbial safety in the production. To our knowledge, there is no natural enriched B12 product available on the market. We have started developing various cereal-based fermentation with potential strains, which would enlarge the variety of the traditional market segmentation.


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