For many years, humans have known that bacteria and other microorganisms are capable of transforming food substrates, making them both tasty and nutritious. More and more, chefs and other food-makers are putting bacteria to work to produce fermented foods. With delicious results. Besides flavour, though, are there other reasons to seek out fermented foods? Scientists around the world are trying to answer this question by studying the possible health benefits of consuming live cultures. Prof. Robert Hutkins (USA) is one of them. He studies bacteria in fermented foods and factors that affect their survival in the gastrointestinal tract and will be our guide in this promising area of investigation during the 5th Yogurt Summit.
Who is Robert Hutkins?
Professor Robert Hutkins is Professor of Food Microbiology in the Department of Food Science and Technology at the University of Nebraska. The Hutkins Lab studies bacteria important in human health and in fermented foods. The lab is particularly interested in understanding how diet and various food components influence the bacteria that reside in the gastrointestinal tract. Specifically, the lab is focused on prebiotic fibers and how these food materials shift the intestinal microbiota in humans and animals and enhance human health. He also studies the physiology and metabolic functions of microorganisms used in the manufacture of fermented foods and beverages.