Background: Cereal-based beverages can provide essential nutrients and phytochemicals
as well as being suitable carriers for probiotics. Prebiotic ingredients present in grains or incorporated
into beverages can improve the growth of probiotics leading to the emergence of functional synbiotic
Objective: This study aimed to produce a malt-based synbiotic beverage containing inulin as a prebiotic
and three strains of probiotics and evaluate its physiochemical and antioxidant properties during storage.
Methods: A synbiotic malt beverage containing 2.25% inulin and 2.25% sucrose with three probiotic
strains including Lactobacillus acidophilus, Lactobacillus casei and Lactobacillus plantarum was
produced and its chemical properties, antioxidant activity, total phenolic compounds and viability of
probiotics were determined during 28 days of storage.
Results: The results showed that although the viability of probiotic bacteria in synbiotic malt beverage
was decreased during refrigerated storage, it remained above 107 cfu/mL. The lowest and the
highest viability was observed in the case of L. acidophilus and L. plantarum, respectively after 28
days of storage. pH, brix and total sugar decreased due to probiotic growth and activity. Ethanol concentration
increased, but was lower than 0.1% in all samples and thus the final product can be considered
as non-alcoholic. Moreover, the content of phenolic compounds was increased in samples
with probiotics due to the hydrolysis of glycosylic phenolic compounds and the generation of free
phenolic compounds. The samples containing L. casei presented the highest total phenolic content
followed by L. acidophilus and L. plantarum, respectively. Malt beverages containing L. casei
showed the highest antioxidant activity followed by samples with L. acidophilus and L. plantarum.
Conclusion: It can be concluded that proper probiotic strains besides inulin as a prebiotic can be
used for the development of a functional synbiotic malt beverage with high phenolic content and antioxidant