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Thompson, Helen Olga, 2020. Nourishing a growing population : overcoming the challenge of B12 deficiency in an increasingly vegetarian world. Second cycle, A2E. Alnarp: SLU, Dept. of Biosystems and Technology (from 130101)



Increasing numbers of people are eliminating animal products from their diet in response to environmental concerns, as well as for human health reasons and in recognition of animal rights. Vitamin B12, an essential nutrient produced exclusively by bacteria and archaea, is present in animal products but is generally absent from unfortified plant foods. People adhering to strict vegetarian diets must consume a dietary supplement or sufficient fortified foods to prevent deficiency, and the rise of vegetarian eating patterns could cause increased deficiency rates if consumers are not aware of, or able to meet, their B12 needs. The purpose of this study was to gain insight into current knowledge and behaviour regarding B12 within a population in Southern Sweden, and to explore the potential for novel fermented foods to provide a viable source of B12. Three methods were employed: a survey, a literature review and an experimental study to examine the B12 production potential of Lactobacillus plantarum during the fermentation of white-beans and cauliflower; special focus is given to the inclusion of beans given the well establish health and environmental benefits of legumes. Knowledge relating to vitamin B12 was significantly higher among respondents who currently consume a vegan diet, but the majority of respondents were able to identify B12 as a necessary supplement for vegetarians (80%), and at least one symptom of B12 deficiency (63%). Consumption of fortified drinks and supplements containing B12 was reported by 7597% of vegans and 40-63% of vegetarians, compared to 21-34% of meat eaters. Consumption of B12 fortified food was low among all respondents. Attitudes to B12 fortification did not vary significantly between demographic groups; most respondents disagreed that foods should not be fortified with B12 and agreed that there are potential health benefits. A number of bacteria spp. have been reported to produce B12 during the fermentation of a variety of plant-based foods, although the quantity and bioavailability varies widely. Following the fermentation of mixed white beans and cauliflower by L. plantarum 299 B12 content increased significantly, although the average concentration (0.048 μg/100g) was low relative to the daily recommended intake value of 2 to 4 μg. Combining white beans with cauliflower represents a novel approach to producing fermented legume-based products and warrants further investigation. Further research is also needed to understand consumer interest in fermented products that contain B12.

Main title:Nourishing a growing population
Subtitle:overcoming the challenge of B12 deficiency in an increasingly vegetarian world
Authors:Thompson, Helen Olga
Supervisor:Hultberg, Malin and Hunter, Erik
Examiner:Mogren, Lars
Volume/Sequential designation:UNSPECIFIED
Year of Publication:2020
Level and depth descriptor:Second cycle, A2E
Student's programme affiliation:LM005 Agroecology - Master's programme 120 HEC
Supervising department:(LTJ, LTV) > Dept. of Biosystems and Technology (from 130101)
Keywords:vitamin B12, lactic acid fermentation, vegan diets, micronutrient deficiency, sustainability, legumes
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Subject. Use of subject categories until 2023-04-30.:Agricultural economics and policies
Human nutrition - General aspects
Diet and diet-related diseases
Deposited On:23 Nov 2020 09:41
Metadata Last Modified:24 Nov 2020 05:01

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