Microorganisms for Functional Food
Maria De Angelis
Nowadays, most of Western consumers are aware that a targeted diet could be an important tool for fighting ageing and diseases such as hypertension, diabetes, and obesity. Microorganisms may be exploited for setting up novel foods that, beside their nutritional value, may positively impact on consumers’ health. Some microorganisms may benefit host when ingested as viable cells carried by food and beverages. This falls in the intriguing field of probiotics, recently brought forward by the numerous probiotic claims rejected by the European Food Safety Authority. This research topic includes research articles and reviews/perspectives that (i) contribute to understand the mechanism underlying the health effects of probiotic microorganisms; (ii) show integrated approaches for selecting new probiotics; (iii) report about non-dairy food items as novel carriers of probiotics; and (iv) deal with biologically active compounds from microorganisms.