Probiotics are microorganisms (including bacteria, yeasts and moulds) that confer various health benefits to the host, when consumed in sufficient amounts. Food products containing probi-otics, called functional foods, have several health-promoting and therapeutic benefits. The significant role of yeasts in producing functional foods with promoted health benefits is well documented. Hence, there is considerable interest in isolating new yeasts as potential probiotics. Survival in the gastrointestinal tract (GIT), salt tolerance and adherence to epithelial cells are preconditions to classify such microorganisms as probiotics. Clear understanding of how yeasts can overcome GIT and salt stresses and the conditions that support yeasts to grow under such conditions is paramount for identifying, characterising and selecting probiotic yeast strains. This study elaborated the adap-tations and mechanisms underlying the survival of probiotic yeasts under GIT and salt stresses. This study also discussed the capability of yeasts to adhere to epithelial cells (hydrophobicity and autoaggregation) and shed light on in vitro methods used to assess the probiotic characteristics of newly isolated yeasts.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
- Plant Science
- Microbiology (medical)