To improve intestinal function, promote blood circulation and lower cholesterol levels, a group of researchers from the University of Hidalgo (UAEH) in Mexico developed two types of drinks made from a ginger extract, a refreshing one and the other with fermented milk.
The project developed by the academic team of the Food Properties and Functionality department was generated to support the Blackberry Organic Products company that exports ginger to Germany and needed to assess the quality of the stem.
Chemist and project leader Dr. Araceli Castañeda, said that ginger contains dietary fiber, essential oils and phenolic compounds that serve as antioxidants.
"The soft drink is carbonated and was created from the aqueous extracts of ginger and blackberry, the latter to provide characteristic flavor and color. The idea is to obtain a product with more antioxidant activity. On the other hand, the fermented milk drinks are made from a blend of skimmed milk and aqueous extract of ginger in different proportions, developed in yogurt cultures," said Castañeda.
In this regard, the expert specified that the lactic acid bacteria in the fermented dairy beverage act as probiotics and help bowel function, additional to its antioxidant activity that may contribute to the prevention of cancer and vascular diseases.
The link with the company was achieved through the university, which made the agreement. The company needed to diversify the use of ginger and check their quality to position itself in the overseas market and compete with China, the leading producer of ginger worldwide.
Chemical analyzes performed on samples of ginger from the Sierra Norte of the state of Puebla suggest that the Mexican product is of the same quality as the Chinese.
In addition, the team is working in producing gummies, in order to diversify ginger items sold by the company. "As a working group we are interested in collaborating with companies, so that the linkage between industry and university is achieved".