Nutritious Vegetable Juice Developed for Diabetics

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A low sugar and low calorie vegetable juice, made especially for diabetics made a premier appearance at 237th National Meeting of the American Chemical Society. The nutritious drink is hoped to help millions of diabetics and those with pre-diabetes. The vegetable juice, sans sugar and carbs, delivers the nutritive powers of pumpkin, balsam pear, onion and carrots, in addition to probiotics.

Heqin Xing, Ph.D., and Xiuqi Liu of Jilin University in Changchun, China have found a way to remove sugar and carbohydrates from the vegetable juice developed to help diabetics, using bacteria that produce lactic acid. According to the scientists, “The process significantly removes sugar but retains the nutritional content of the juice's raw materials."

The process used is the ancient technique of fermentation. The food production process breaks down carbohydrates, removes sugar, and extends shelf-life, while preventing the growth of other bacteria that might otherwise contaminate the diabetic vegetable drink. The scientists say, "This improves the preparation method of the diabetic-friendly vegetable drinks, but it also simplifies the method over existing ones.”

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Acidity of the diabetic vegetable drink enhances the flavor. Using Lactobacillus acidophilus and L. plantarum in the vegetable juice increased the acidity ten fold in twelve hours. Dr. Xing explains, "The viable cell counts of L. plantarum in the fermented mixed vegetable juice still remained at up to 5 billion colony forming units per teaspoon after four weeks of cold storage.”

The researchers predict marketing of the diabetic vegetable juice in about a year. By adding xylitol, a natural sugar substitute safe for diabetics, the researchers say they have made the vegetable juice tasty as well as nutritious. According to Dr. Xing, "It has a good taste with reduced calories due to lower carbohydrates." One teaspoon of xylitol has 9.6 calories, compared to 15 calories in one teaspoonful of sugar.

The new vegetable juice can deliver needed nutrition to diabetics, many of whom do not get the recommended daily amounts of fruit and vegetables for a variety of reasons that might include cost. Probiotics used in the fermentation process should keep cost down and reduce any risk that the diabetic vegetable juice will spoil, extending shelf life.

Source: ACS

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