Scientific attentions have been recently drawn to functional foods consisting of biologically
active components. Probiotics are one of the food components exerting beneficial health effects
by balancing the microflora in the intestinal environment when consuming in an adequate amount
and manufacturing of probiotic products, especially fermented dairy ones raised. In order to achieve
health claim of commercialized probiotic products, enough quantity of each probiotic strain is essential.
However, poor viability and high susceptibility of probiotic bacteria to the environmental conditions
have encouraged food researchers to investigate various methods to enhance minimum viable
numbers of each probiotic strain in probiotic products. Recently, using herbal extracts and essential
oils in yogurt and fermented milk as new trends in order to improve the viability of probiotics has
been taken into consideration. In this article, the importance of probiotics as functional food ingredients
and the impact of extracts and essential oil from different sources on the viability of probiotic
fermented milk are reviewed.
Keywords: Functional food, probiotic, viability, herbal extract, essential oil.
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