SAO PAULO, BRAZIL — Adding acai pulp to yogurts had a positive effect on probiotic bacteria and other healthy substances in a study performed at Sao Paulo University and appearing on-line Feb. 1 in the International Dairy Journal.

Researchers divided skim milk into two groups, one with acai pulp and one without it. The batches then were inoculated with yogurt starter culture and divided into five groups according to probiotic addition.

Counts of viable microorganisms were measured at day 1, day 14 and day 28 of cold storage.

Acai pulp favored an increase in the number of probiotic bacteria Lactobacillus acidophilus L10, Bifidobacterium animalis ssp. lactis B104 and Bifidobacterium longum B105 after 28 days. The study also demonstrated acai pulp addition increased monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acid contents in probiotic yogurt and enhanced the production of alpha-linolenic acid (an omega-3 fatty acid also known as ALA) and conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) during fermentation of skim milk prepared with B. animalis ssp. lactis B104 and B94 strains.