Development of innovative probiotic products KEFIR utilizing the microbial diversity of the Region of AMTH - Pinnokefir
Today, there is a strong interest in the production of new functional foods with beneficial "wild-type" microbial cultures that add particular quality and complexity to local products. Consumer interest in functional foods is linked to the need for prevention and a shift towards healthier dietary choices linked to traditional and 'natural' production methods.
The use of commercially available primary crops to produce functional foods with beneficial properties results in finished products with minimal differences between them and with a reduction in the 'personality' (in terms of variability and complexity) required to characterise a local product. The production of new products with 'wild' initial crops that will impart specific organoleptic characteristics is therefore a challenge for the industry
The aim of the investment project is the development of innovative functional kefir products, utilizing kefir culture from the microbial collection of the Laboratory of Applied Microbiology & Biotechnology of the Department of Molecular Biology & Genetics of the Democritus University of Thrace, which has been isolated from a local traditional product of producers of the Region of Eastern Macedonia-Thrace (PAMTH).
The project is carried out by MENIKIO in collaboration with the Laboratory of Applied Microbiology & Biotechnology of the Department of Molecular Biology & Genetics of the Democritus University of Thrace.
The facilities of A.S MENIKIO are located in a fertile and fertile plain, next to Menoikio Mountain, in the prefecture of Drama since 2007. The modern facilities consist of three main pillars: the feed production facilities, the animal housing unit, and the dairy. The company's goal is to produce innovative dairy products of high nutritional value, with respect to traditional production methods.
The "Laboratory of Applied Microbiology & Biotechnology" belongs to the Department of Molecular Biology & Genetics of the Democritus University of Thrace. The laboratory specializes in the isolation and characterization of wild-type microbial strains, in the design and industrial development of new food products (product development) and in the determination of their quality characteristics (physicochemical and microbiological analyses), organoleptic testing, etc.), as well as in the study of beneficial effects of beneficial microorganisms and bioactive ingredients (effect on the gut microbiome of healthy populations and populations with metabolic diseases, reduction of cholesterol levels, determination of antioxidant activity, etc.). The laboratory has the know-how, experience and all the necessary infrastructure in the field of applied microbiology and biotechnology, and is funded by industry, but also by competitive projects in collaboration with other research organisations.
The project is co-funded by the European Union and National Funds under the Operational Programme "Region of Eastern Macedonia and Thrace" 2014-2020, AMTHP4-0044502, OPS Code:5067299, "Pinnokefir".