Researchers have discovered a milk alternative: fermenting pea and rice with probiotic strains. This dairy-free mixture is highly digestible and has the same animal protein as found in milk, casein.
Fermentation was critical to the results. Plant-based proteins are poorly digested because they are often insoluble in water, explains Professor Monique Lacroix of Institut National de la Recherche Scientifique (INRS). Animal proteins, in contrast, “usually take the form of elongated fibers that are easily processed by digestive enzymes.” But lactic acid bacteria in the fermented pea and rice drink predigested the proteins, improving digestibility.
“Fermentation allowed for the production of peptides (protein fragments) resulting from the breakdown of proteins during fermentation, facilitating their absorption during digestion,” notes an article on the research in Nutrition Insight.
INRS partnered with probiotics company Bio-K+ on the research. Their findings were published in the Journal of Food Science.
Read more (Nutrition Insight)