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ICS Biotechnology Corporation of China (Shanghai) is fermenting coffee beans with human probiotic strains to reduce caffeine content and improve the nutritional value of coffee beans.
One famous fermented coffee is Kopi Luwak, which is made from coffee beans that undergo fermentation when ingested by civets.
Coffee fruit is fermented through the intestinal tract of a civet cat. In the gut, proteases in civets break down the protein in coffee beans into shorter peptides and free amino acids.
This process reduces the amount of caffeine in coffee beans.
Then part of the digested coffee beans are excreted in the stool of the civet cats.
For ICS, the company hopes to produce nutritious coffee with similar flavor without using civet cats.
Jiang Junda, general manager of ICS, said that using human probiotics to ferment coffee beans is a solution.
In this case, the probiotics used are CT99, a patent human probiotics imported from Taiwan. The main strain of CT99 comes from the feces of healthy newborns.
Berries from Kenya are used as probiotic cultures. During fermentation, CT99 reduces the caffeine content of coffee, enabling people with caffeine sensitivity to enjoy coffee.
The fermentation process also releases gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), a neurotransmitter that promotes sleep, maintains healthy blood pressure levels, and burns body fat.
GABA can be found in various foods, especially fermented foods such as pickles.
As GABA is released during fermentation and caffeine is reduced, coffee increases alertness and produces sedative effects.
Other nutrients such as anthocyanins, vitamins and iron are also produced during fermentation.
"We have been approved by the Chinese authorities for mass production this year, and we plan to mass-produce in China," he said.
"Probiocoffetics" will be officially launched in the market in December this year.
Health food instead of supplements?
Initially engaged in cosmetics development and production, ICS's product portfolio includes healthy foods, nutritional beauty products and dietary supplements, which have achieved high growth rates over the past few years.
For example, from the end of 2015 to June this year, the sales of health food increased by 130 times.
He believes that with the Chinese government's Health China Initiative in 2030, the Chinese population will be encouraged to pursue a healthier consumption of more functional foods.
In fact, he predicted that functional foods would replace dietary supplements as a dietary health Avenue.
"Our strategy for this year and next year is to extend the concept of healthy China to other parts of the world."
He added that Southeast Asia would be an area of interest, with Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam as key regions.
Source: American and Chinese Health Products Association
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