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Probiotic foods: Benefits to the cereal based Sri Lankan diet


Anjani M. Karunaratne

University of Peradeniya, LK
About Anjani M.
Department of Botany, Faculty of Science
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The Sri Lankan diet of which the staple is rice, has unacceptable levels of antinutritional substances, particularly phytic acid, which is associated with fibre, a dietary component originating from plant sources of food. Low anthropometric indicators among preschool children suggestive of undernutrition have remained static over several years. Some microbes that ferment food are known to produce phytase that metabolize phytic acid in addition to providing other benefits. Some of these microbes in fermented foods serve as probiotics, which help maintain homeostasis within the gut microbiota, thus providing a wide range of health benefits. At present, it is a worldwide trend to incorporate probiotics to the daily diet in fermented foods, while a market for novel probiotic foods is catching on. In the gut, probiotics can thrive on indigestible carbohydrates (fibre) serving as prebiotics. Therefore, designing synbiotic foods having both probiotics and prebiotics with enhanced benefits is also becoming popular globally. This review evaluates the feasibility of introducing a wide range of fermented foods to the Sri Lankan diet. Such a move is envisaged to diversify the local diet thus helping to alleviate certain nutritional shortcomings. This can subsequently help in the introduction of specific probiotics with beneficial effects.
How to Cite: Karunaratne, A. M. (2018). Probiotic foods: Benefits to the cereal based Sri Lankan diet. Ceylon Journal of Science, 47(2), 105–123. DOI:
Published on 14 Jun 2018.
Peer Reviewed


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