Abstract and keywords
Abstract (English):
Milk and dairy products are staple foods in the diet of all social groups. Plant additives are of multifunctional use in the dairy industry. Wild plants are a source of vitamins, minerals, and other biologically active substances. Due to these compounds, they improve digestion, cardiovascular activity, and emotional state. This review describes the latest trends in creating functional milk drinks enriched with plant components. They include drinks based on whole milk and cream, dairy by-products (whey, buttermilk), as well as fermented milk drinks with probiotic cultures (kefir, drinking yogurt). We found that aqueous extracts were most commonly introduced into milk raw materials. Fruits and berries were dried and added to milk raw materials in the powder form. Special attention was paid to ‘hairy roots’ as a promising technology for producing various functional foods. In addition to being economically viable, this technology can help us expand the range of plant materials with endangered species. Functional milk-based drinks enriched with plant extracts can improve the immune system and be used as part of supportive therapy. They are also suitable for daily use to replenish the balance of essential nutrients. These properties make their production a promising direction in the dairy industry.

Milk drinks, plant extracts, functional ingredients, biologically active substances
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Milk and dairy products are the most common
foods in the diet of all categories of the population. The
reasons for their popularity lie in the unique properties
and components of milk, as well as a possibility of
producing a wide variety of foods from this material.
Milk is used as a basis for combined foods produced in
two ways: 1) by adding plant materials to milk and dairy
products and 2) by adding dairy ingredients to plant
materials [1].
Combining plant and milk proteins provides a better
amino acid composition compared to milk proteins.
Milk protein is one of the most valuable proteins of
animal origin since, unlike meat proteins, it does not
contain purine bases, whose excess has a negative effect
on kidney function. Its biological value is close to the
value of a standard chicken egg protein. Milk protein
has an optimal ratio of amino acids, which is close to the
amino acid composition of human proteins. Dissolved
milk proteins are readily available for digestive
proteinases without prior denaturing. Milk proteins have
higher digestibility (95–97%) than the proteins of meat,
fish, and cereals. In addition, they are rich in essential
amino acids which are often lacking in the human diet,
namely lysine, tryptophane, methionine, etc. [1, 2].
The choice of dairy ingredients for functional
foods can be justified by their medicinal properties
widely utilised in therapeutic, preventative, and dietetic
nutrition. It seems difficult to clearly distinguish
between ordinary and medicinal dairy products, since
even conventional dairy products can be used for
dietetic and medicinal purposes due to their chemical
composition. In addition, preference is usually given
to fermented milk products due to their dietetic and
medicinal properties. These properties result from
microbiological and biochemical processes that occur
during the ripening of milk curd.
Review Article DOI:
Open Access Available online at
Functional dairy products enriched with plant ingredients
Stanislav A. Sukhikh1,* , Lidiia A. Astakhova1, Yuliya V. Golubcova2, Andrey A. Lukin2,
Elizaveta A. Prosekova3, Irina S. Milent`eva2 , Natalia G. Kostina2 ,
Aleksandr N. Rasshchepkin2
1 Immanuel Kant Baltic Federal University, Kaliningrad, Russia
2 Kemerovo State University, Kemerovo, Russia
3 Siberia State Medical University, Tomsk, Russia
* e-mail:
Received August 26, 2019; Accepted in revised form September 19, 2019; Published October 21, 2019
Abstract: Milk and dairy products are staple foods in the diet of all social groups. Plant additives are of multifunctional use in the
dairy industry. Wild plants are a source of vitamins, minerals, and other biologically active substances. Due to these compounds, they
improve digestion, cardiovascular activity, and emotional state. This review describes the latest trends in creating functional milk
drinks enriched with plant components. They include drinks based on whole milk and cream, dairy by-products (whey, buttermilk), as
well as fermented milk drinks with probiotic cultures (kefir, drinking yogurt). We found that aqueous extracts were most commonly
introduced into milk raw materials. Fruits and berries were dried and added to milk raw materials in the powder form. Special attention
was paid to ‘hairy roots’ as a promising technology for producing various functional foods. In addition to being economically viable,
this technology can help us expand the range of plant materials with endangered species. Functional milk-based drinks enriched
with plant extracts can improve the immune system and be used as part of supportive therapy. They are also suitable for daily use to
replenish the balance of essential nutrients. These properties make their production a promising direction in the dairy industry.
Keywords: Milk drinks, plant extracts, functional ingredients, biologically active substances
Please cite this article in press as: Sukhikh SA, Astakhova LA, Golubcova YuV, Lukin AA, Prosekova EA, Milent`eva IS,
et al.. Functional dairy products enriched with plant ingredients. Foods and Raw Materials. 2019;7(2):428–438. DOI: http://doi.
Copyright © 2019, Sukhikh et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International
License (, allowing third parties to copy and redistribute the material in any medium or format and to remix,
transform, and build upon the material for any purpose, even commercially, provided the original work is properly cited and states its license.
Foods and Raw Materials, 2019, vol. 7, no. 2
E-ISSN 2310-9599
ISSN 2308-4057
Sukhikh S.A. et al. Foods and Raw Materials, 2019, vol. 7, no. 2, pp. 428-438
The enzymatic systems of lactic acid bacteria
break down milk proteins during fermentation into
simpler and more easily digestible substances. Organic
acids in fermented milk products affect the secretory
activity of the stomach and intestines. Helping the
glands of the digestive tract to secrete enzymes, they
speed up digestion and improve the absorption of
food. In addition, beneficial properties of fermented
milk products lie in their ability to inhibit the growth
of pathogenic intestinal microflora. This is especially
important in view of a high incidence of intestinal
dysbiosis even among healthy people [3].
Milk ingredients are often used in the production
of functional dairy products. They are isolated from
conventional dairy products, such as milk, cheese, whey
or butter. Thanks to special treatment, they acquire
desired properties, for example, texture, taste or water
content. They include whey powder, lactose, protein
concentrate, milk fat, protein isolate, casein, and albumin.
These ingredients are used to create special products, for
example, for diabetics, athletes, and children [1, 3].
The world’s largest processing companies, such
as Fonterra, Lactalis, Friesland Campina, Dairy
Farmers of America, and Arla Foods are big investors
in the production of milk ingredients. In Russia, it is
still a new market. According to Streda Consulting,
Russia annually imports about 110 000 tons of
such products worth $200 million. These are whey,
protein concentrates (used in dairy and confectionery
production), and dehydrated milk fat. Belarussian
products account for up to 55% of all imported
ingredients and up to 25% of their cost.
Russia has a large source of whey which can be used
to produce dry whey powder, whey protein concentrate,
isolate, and hydrolysate. It is due to the growing
production of cheese, where whey is the main byproduct.
In 2017, Russia produced over 603000 tons of
cheese, an 8.5% growth compared to 2016. A significant
amount of whey powder produced in Russia is used to
meet the needs of the dairy industry. In 2017, its output
reached 129 000 tons, a 15% increase since 2010 [1, 2].
Plant additives are quite widely used in the dairy
industry for various functional purposes. In recent
years, we have seen a clear trend towards combining
plant materials with various milk additives [1]. Highly
promising is the use of wild plants, edible and medicinal.
Wild plants are a raw material for nutraceuticals, one
of the main groups of dietary supplements. They are a
source of vitamins, minerals, and other biologically
active substances. Thanks to these compounds, wild
plants improve digestion, cardiovascular activity, and
emotional state [1, 4].
Functional properties of dairy products are normally
improved by correcting their composition of fatty acids,
amino acids, and minerals, as well as fortifying them
with micronutrients [2, 3]. Combining milk materials
with plant components allows regulating the content
of vitamins, carbohydrates, minerals, and dietary fibre
in the products. In addition, they give dairy products a
pronounced plant taste and smell, as well as an attractive
appearance. Using biologically active compounds
obtained from plant materials, including medicinal
plants, is a promising direction in the production of
medicinal, preventative, and functional products [1, 2].
This review is devoted to the latest trends in creating
functional milk drinks enriched with plant components.
It describes the principles of producing various types of
functional drinks, namely drinks based on whole milk
and cream, drinks based on dairy by-products (whey,
buttermilk), and fermented milk drinks with probiotic
cultures (kefir, drinking yogurt).
Our objects of study were scientific publications
and patents of Russian and foreign authors on the
production of milk drinks enriched with plant materials.
Our main method was generalisation. In particular, we
analysed statistical and economic data on the worldwide
production of functional milk drinks, the scientific
principles of using plant ingredients in milk drinks,
and findings of practically-oriented studies and original
research on new types of functional plants.
Modern formulations and technological regulations
provide for the use of various forms of medicinal
plants. Quite popular are syrups and extracts from
wild medicinal herbs with various preventative
properties (antimicrobial, immunostimulating, antitoxic,
radioprotective, and others). A study of their chemical
properties showed that most plants have a unique set of
substances, such as vitamins, dietary fibre, antioxidants,
minerals, and organic acids [5].
Functional plants used in phytocompositions
can be classified according to their pharmacological
action. For example, a group of plants used in Russia
to strengthen blood vessels include Tilia Cordata,
Comarum, and Aegopodium podagraria. Plants that
stimulate the cardiovascular system and prevent it from
weakening include Adonis vernalis, Betula pendula,
Crataegus, Hypericum, Fragaria, Calendula officinalis,
Viburnum opulus, Convallaria majalis, Melissa
officinalis, Hippophae, Parmelia, Leonurus, Matricaria
Chamomilla, Sorbus sibirica, Aronia melanocarpa, and
Gnaphalium [4,5].
Medicinal plants with psychotropic properties fall
into four groups, namely:
– sedatives: Valeriana officinalis, Leonurus, Crataegus,
Mentha, Humulus lupulus, Chamaenerion angustifolium,
Polemonium caeruleum, Calluna vulgaris, Origanum
vulgare, Cichorium, Melilotus officialis, Levisticum
officinale Koch., Gnaphalium uliginosum, Thymus, and
Bidens tripartita;
– plants with a combined calming and tonic effect
(intermediate group): Paeonia anomala, Rhaponticum
carthamoides, Acorus calamus, Rubus idaeus,
Sukhikh S.A. et al. Foods and Raw Materials, 2019, vol. 7, no. 2, pp. 428-438
Taraxacum officinale, Pastinaca, and Origanum
– stimulants: Aralia elata, Oplopanax elatus, Rhodiola
rosea, and Echinops; and
– antidepressants: Hypericum, Rhaponticum carthamoides,
Aralia elata, and Oplopanax elatus.
Plants with phytoncidal properties include
Calendula officinalis, Tilia, Arctostaphylos uva-ursi,
Paeonia anomala, Matricaria Chamomilla, Prunus
padus, and Rosa.
Plants with the richest vitamin content include
Hippophae, Sorbus sibirica, Aronia melanocarpa, Salvia
officinalis, and Rosa [5].
The consumption of juices and other drinks is on
the rise both in Russia and all over the world. There is a
growing interest in drinks that not only quench thirst, but
also have a positive effect on various systems of the body
and human health in general. Depending on the intended
action, functional drinks can act as general tonics,
boost energy, stimulate mental activity, help to relax,
prevent cholesterol metabolism disorders, etc. [1]. The
concept of ‘drinks for health’ has become fundamental
for many European manufacturers and is an effective
brand that allows them to successfully compete in the
market. According to market research, consumers prefer
functional drinks made from natural and environmentally
friendly materials and ingredients [1, 2].
Milk drinks can also be divided into the following
groups: 1) drinks based on whole milk and cream; 2)
drinks based on dairy by-products (whey, buttermilk);
and 3) fermented milk drinks with probiotic cultures
(kefir, drinking yoghurts).
A large number of studies on whole milk drinks
have aimed not only to enrich the product with
functional substances, but also to extend the shelflife
of the finished product. Some plants contain
various compounds that can affect microbial growth,
reproduction, or basic cell functions. These include
phenols, polyphenols, trace elements, essential oils,
and other compounds. They are mainly present in
various herbs. Extracts of these plants can be used as
natural food preservatives that can inhibit the growth of
unwanted microorganisms. Their antimicrobial activity
is determined by a high content of phenolic compounds
– substances containing aromatic rings with a hydroxyl
group and their functional derivatives. These include
tannins, flavonoids, glycosides, phenol carboxylic acids,
phenol alcohols, anthocyanins, bitter substances, and
simple phenols [6, 7].
The disk diffusion method was used to establish
the antimicrobial activity of aqueous extracts obtained
from the following plants: Thymus vulgaris, Lavandula
angustifolia, Melissa officinalis, Ocimum basilicum,
Allium schoenoprasum, and Petroselinum crispu.
Their antibacterial activity was tested on strains of
microorganisms that cause spoilage of milk. The highest
antibacterial activity was found in the aqueous extracts
of Ocimum basilicum, Allium schoenoprasum, and
Petroselinum crispu [6].
Mohamed et al. tested the antibacterial properties
of aqueous extracts of oregano, marjoram, sage, and
liquorice against B. subtilis and E. coli pathogenic
microorganisms [7]. These plants are widely used in
the production of functional milk drinks. The study
showed that these extracts had a higher antibacterial
activity against B. subtilis rather than E. coli. In
addition, oregano extract exhibited the highest
antibacterial activity against the studied bacteria
compared to marjoram, liquorice, and sage. Also, the
mass spectrometric analysis revealed some new volatile
compounds in these extracts which could potentially
become new antibacterial drugs to be used in the food
Apart from the antibacterial effect, plant additives
are able to prevent spoilage of dairy products. They
do it by directly absorbing photons of light and act as
internal filters that protect sensitive food components by
removing radicals and preventing photodegradation and
oxidation. Such properties are common for flavonoids, in
particular quercetin [8].
Russian manufacturers of dairy products use
dihydroquercetin, a natural antioxidant obtained from
Siberian and Dahurian larch. Dihydroquercetin is
included in the list of food additives as an antioxidant
(State Sanitary Standard*). Another
functional ingredient is larch arabinogalactan – dietary
fibre enriched with various contents of dihydroquercetin
(5–20%). The use of dihydroquercetin in the dairy
industry has scientific and practical significance. In
particular, it inhibits the process of lipid oxidation,
enriches the products with a natural biologically active
water-soluble substance, and increases their shelf-life.
Therefore, this group of natural ingredients is used in
the production of functional dairy products [9].
The antioxidant properties of plant extracts not only
protect the product from spoilage, but also prevent the
action of free radicals in the human body, slowing down
the aging process. Milk has its own antioxidant system
represented by enzymes (catalase, peroxidase, peroxide
dismutase, etc.) and non-enzymatic components
(vitamins A, E, C, SH-compounds, metal ions Zn2+,
Se2+, Cu2+, Mn2+). In addition, milk contains
synergists – substances that restore antioxidants,
such as citric, tartaric, and lactic acids. However, the
amount of these antioxidants is not stable, depending on
various factors, and their activity decreases during milk
processing. Lazareva et al. studied various plant extracts
in combination with sterilised and pasteurised milk.
They found that the greatest antioxidant effect on lipid
peroxidation was exhibited by sterilised milk enriched
with extracts of lingonberry leaves and green tea [2].
* SanPiN Gigienicheskie trebovaniya bezopasnosti i
pishchevoy tsennosti pishchevykh produktov [State Sanitary Standard Hygienic requirements for food safety and nutritional
value]. Moscow: Federal Center for Sanitary Inspection of the
Ministry of Health of Russia; 2019. 145 p.
Sukhikh S.A. et al. Foods and Raw Materials, 2019, vol. 7, no. 2, pp. 428-438
Researchers in [3] recommend honeysuckle powder
as an antioxidant component for milk-based drinks, due
to a high content of vitamin C [3]. Honeysuckle berries
are also rich in vitamin P, iodine, and biologically active
substances with health beneficial and diuretic effects.
Aronia melanocarpa is another promising raw material for
various dairy products. Its fresh fruits are used as a source
of vitamins for treating hypertension of stages I and II, and
as an adjuvant for treating rheumatism, measles, typhus,
scarlet fever, allergic reactions, etc. Its juice strengthens
the walls of blood vessels [10]. Optimal conditions were
developed for enriching milk with Aronia melanocarpa:
its puree and oligofructose powder were added to milk
heated to 75°C, mixed, and kept for 15 min [11].
Thyme extract is used in milk drinks due to a large
content of anthocyanins and flavonoids, in addition to the
above compounds. Other sources of vitamins, macroand
trace elements, essential amino acids, and dietary
fibre include peanuts, walnuts, rose hips, peppermint, and
thyme, as well as beetroot, carrots, and oats [12].
A high antioxidant index was also found in
pomegranate, oranges, lemons, apples, pomelo,
tangerines, and persimmons, which makes them good
additives for milk drinks.
Whey is a widely used raw material in the dairy
industry. The main types of whey products include
whey powder and permeate (59%), demineralised and
delactosed whey powder (10%), whey protein concentrates
(12%), and lactose (19%) [20]. The composition and
properties of whey are determined by the type of the basic
product and its technology. Whey contains about 20%
of milk proteins. In addition, whey proteins are richer in
essential amino acids than milk, and their content is more
balanced in terms of nutrition physiology.
The biological value of whey protein is higher than
that of chicken egg protein, a gold standard among
food products. According to the FAO/WHO scale, the
biological value of whey proteins is 112%, whereas that
of milk casein is only 78%. Whey proteins are some of
the most valuable components of milk. They are rich
in sulphur-containing amino acids (cystine, lysine,
and tryptophan). Thus, introducing whey proteins in
food products, especially of plant origin, contributes to
a significant increase in their biological value due to a
highly balanced composition of amino acids [4].
Of great interest is a possibility of expanding
the range of whey-based drinks and regulating their
biological value. Fortifying them with plant extracts
rich in biologically active substances with antioxidant
properties can help prevent a number of pathological
conditions – stress, atherosclerosis, myocardial
infarction, malignant neoplasms, and others. In addition,
plant extracts increase their shelf-life [4–6].
All components of whey can be fully utilised in the
production of drinks [4]. Whey drinks were fortified
with black and green tea containing flavonoids –
antioxidants that protect the body from premature
aging and cardiovascular diseases [5]. Tea normalises
blood pressure, dilates blood vessels, and improves
the work of the heart. The antihypertensive (lowering
pressure) effect of tea is associated with a high content
of polyphenols. It was found that tea lowers the level of
bad cholesterol in the blood serum, reduces the intensity
of sclerotic processes in the arteries, and prevents the
accumulation of fats in the blood and the liver.
Tea alkaloids that remain stable during processing
include caffeine, theobromine, theophylline, adenine,
xanthite, hypoxanthine, guanine, etc. The caffeine
content in tea varies from 2 to 4% of dry mass. The
studies confirmed the possibility of creating tonic
drinks based on aromatic medicinal plants and whey.
In addition to black and green tea, mate tea can be
used for these purposes. Lorena et al. developed
formulations for milk drinks with green mate extracts
(Ilex paraguariensis), cloves (Syzygium aromaticum),
and lemongrass (Cymbopogon citratus) [13].
Keldibekova et al. formulated a functional product
based on whey and rosehip [14]. Rosehips contain up
to 5.5% ascorbic acid (vitamin C), 12–18 mg% carotene
(provitamin A), 0.03 mg% vitamin B2, vitamin K,
flavonoids, about 18% sugar, 4% pectin, up to 4.5%
tannins, about 2% citric acid, as well as malic and other
acids. Rosehip gives the drink a sedative, anti-sclerotic,
and tonic effect. The sensory evaluation of the new
whey-based drink and its acidity analysis showed that
the most optimal amount of rosehip infusion was 15%
of whey weight. The physical and chemical parameters
of the whey drink meet the requirements of Federal Law
No. 88**. In addition, rosehip is an excellent diuretic
and choleretic agent. It can also have a sedative, antisclerotic,
and tonic effect.
Another group of researchers developed drinks
based on milk materials combined with apple pectin,
rosehip blooms, lemongrass leaves, and barberry
fruits [15]. These materials provided the drinks
with immunomodulating, antihypertensive, antiinflammatory,
and antiseptic properties.
The current search for new strong natural
antioxidants has evoked interest in xanthones, natural
polyphenolic compounds. High concentrations of
xanthones are present in the pericarp of mangosteen
(Garcinia mangostana L.), an exotic fruit common in
Southeast Asian countries such as Thailand, India, Sri
Lanka, Myanmar, Cambodia, Vietnam, China, and
others. Xanthones have a wide range of physiological
effects: cardiotonic, diuretic, choleretic, psychotropic,
antitumor, antifungal, etc. Multicomponent functional
drinks based on whey are food systems with low
aggregative stability, i.e. they are prone to sedimentation
during storage. Therefore, various stabilisers (pectins,
gums, seaweed products, etc.) are introduced into their
formulations to ensure a uniform structure.
** Federalʹnyy zakon №88. Tekhnicheskiy reglament na moloko i
molochnuyu produktsiyu [Federal Law No. 88. Technical Regulations
for Milk and Dairy Products]. Moscow, 2008.
Sukhikh S.A. et al. Foods and Raw Materials, 2019, vol. 7, no. 2, pp. 428-438
Cherevach et al. developed jellylike whey-based
drinks enriched with mangosteen pericarp and extracts
of Far Eastern plants, such as Rosa cinnamomea, Aronia
melanocarpa, Actinidia kolomikta, Vitis amurensis, and
Oxycoccus quadripetalus Gilib [16]. Their production
process was made up of the following basic stages:
– preparation of milk curd whey (clarification at 90°C
for 20 min, filtering, and cooling to 25°C);
– preparation of compositions of extracts from Far
Eastern plants and mangosteen by dissolving gellan
gum in a small amount of whey at 80°C and thorough
– preparation of plant components in the form of fruit
and vegetable purees: primary treatment, cutting,
cooking at 85–90°C for 20 min and rubbing through
a sieve with 0.5 mm holes (for berry purees – only
rubbing), pasteurisation at 70–75°С for 5 min, cooling to
25°С, mixing the ingredients by stirring;
– pasteurisation at 60–65°C for 5 min; hot filling,
corking, marking, and cooling to 23–27°С followed by
storage at 4 ± 2°С and relative air humidity 70 ± 2%.
The developed drinks had a significantly higher
concentration of antioxidant substances compared to
analogous products and met the requirements of State
Standard R 52349-2005***. The drink with a rosehip
extract had the highest concentration of flavonoids. One
portion of this drink contains twice as many flavonoids
as are recommended for daily intake. The drinks
with aronia, cranberries, and grapes were also rich in
flavonoids (16.5–89.6% of the daily norm). All the drinks
provided 18.6–22.5% of the daily need for xanthones.
These drinks should be consumed systematically
in order to improve health and reduce the risk of
cardiovascular diseases and common cold.
Another study aimed to formulate functional drinks
based on dairy by-products and raw materials of plant
origin, namely scorzonera and water caltrop [17]. All
parts of water caltrop contain flavonoids, tannins, a
variety of vitamins, phenolic compounds, as well as
mineral salts and beneficial nitrogen compounds. The
fruits contain 7.5% fat, 15% protein, and carbohydrates,
including 3% sugar and 52% starch. Due to its antiviral,
antimicrobial, and immunomodulatory properties,
water caltrop can be used in the combined therapy for
PTSD. The plant is also known to exhibit astringent,
antispasmodic, sedative, choleretic, tonic, and
diaphoretic properties. Scorzonera produces beneficial
effects due to a variety of biologically active substances.
Its roots contain saccharides (20%); pectin substances
(2%); vitamins C, B1, B2, E, and PP; and salts of copper,
potassium, iron, manganese, phosphorus, zinc, and
calcium. However, its major medicinal properties are
determined by a high content (about 10%) of inulin, as
well as asparagine and levulin, making it suitable for
diabetics. Asparagine has a positive effect on the work
of the heart and activates the kidneys.
*** State Standard R 52349-2005. Foodstuffs. Functional foods.
Terms and definitions. Moscow: Standartinform; 2005. 8 p.
Khramtsov et al. developed a formulation for milk
drinks based on whey from heat-acid cheese production.
They also used aqueous extracts of Japanese quince
(Chaenomeles japonica L.), Chinese magnolia-vine
(Schisandra chinensis L.), and common barberry
(Berberis vulgaris L.) (pH 3.5–4) as coagulants [18].
Japanese quince contains 180 mg ascorbic acid per 100 g
of product. It is also rich in organic acids, pectin, fibre,
fructose, sucrose, essential oils, vitamins B, PP, A,
and E, and minerals. Thanks to these components,
Japanese quince can increase immunity, strengthen
the conducting vessels, remove toxins and salts during
intoxication, and normalise blood pressure. It is also
used for treating inflammation in the oral cavity and
upper respiratory tract, as well as intestinal disorders
and other diseases.
The fruits of Chinese magnolia-vine contain
sugar, tannins and colouring compounds, fatty acids
(glycerides of linoleic, linolenic, oleic, and other acids)
and organic acids (malic, citric, and tartaric). In addition,
they are rich in essential oils, ascorbic acid, and
vitamin E, as well as schizandrol and schizandrin – the
compounds that determine basic biological properties
of the plant. They improve physical and mental activity,
enhance body resistance to negative factors, and
stimulate the heart and blood vessels, contributing to
the preservation of human health. Common barberry
is valued for its content of alkaloids, carotene,
tannins, ascorbic acid, tocopherol, and organic acids.
Its beneficial properties are used in treating various
pathologies, as well as to improve appetite. It also has
laxative, antiseptic, tonic, antipyretic, and diaphoretic
Fortified probiotic drinks are a new step in
the development of the food industry. Fermented
milk products are functional foods that contain
biologically active substances with health-beneficial
properties. It is generally recognised that probiotics
serve as an important tool to prevent and treat
dysbiosis resulting from irrational antibiotic therapy,
intestinal diseases, improper nutrition, or stress.
Among conventional probiotics are lactobacilli and
bifidobacteria. Their beneficial effects are manifested
in normalising intestinal microflora, activating the
entire gastrointestinal tract, and improving calcium
absorption. They also perform anti-allergenic and
immunostimulating functions [19].
The greatest positive effect on human health can
be achieved by using symbiotic products containing
both pre- and probiotics. Prebiotics are substances that
stimulate the growth and activity of microorganisms
(probiotics) and improve their adhesion to the intestinal
walls. Such properties are common for nonhydrolyzable
oligo- and polysaccharides of plants, such as pectin,
inulin, fructo-oligosaccharides, xylo-oligosaccharides,
and resistant starch [19, 20].
Probiotics are widely used in the production of dairy
products, but the recent focus has been on cultivating
Sukhikh S.A. et al. Foods and Raw Materials, 2019, vol. 7, no. 2, pp. 428-438
lactic acid and bifidobacteria in dairy products with
plant additives. The benefits of plant products are
determined by high contents of vitamins, antioxidants,
minerals, and phytoelements. Thus, current research
efforts aim to develop formulations for functional dairy
products enriched with plant additives with probiotic
properties, improve their technology, and assess their
consumer appeal.
Danilova developed a phytocomposition for a
functional fermented milk product with gerodietetic
properties [19]. The phytocomposition was made up
of medicinal plants growing in Western Siberia. It was
based on Comarum extract that strengthens the joints,
which is especially important for older people. The
phytocomposition also included extracts of Crataegus,
which stimulates the cardiovascular system, and
Origanum vulgare, which has a calming sedative effect
on the nervous system.
Crataegus fruits contain flavonoids (up to 3%,
mainly hyperin), organic acids (citric and tartaric),
sugars (up to 0.29% sucrose; pentose and fructose),
carotene (2–30 mg%), vitamin C (25–375 mg%), choline,
essential oil, colouring agent (carotene pigment), fats,
nitrogen wastes (0.8–1.5%), ash (1%), trace elements
(potassium, calcium, manganese, magnesium, iron);
tannins, and extractives. Also present are vitexin
glycoside, hyperoside, leucocyanidins – bioside, rutin,
sesculin, and purine derivatives, triterpene saponins
(ursolic and oleanolic acids), soroite, and cholinelike
substances. Crataegus fruits contain a mixture of
triterpenic acids (categus, ursolic, chlorogenic, oleanolic,
and caffeic acid), flavone glycosides, acetylcholine, and
phytosterols. Crataegus flowers contain caffeic and
chlorogenic acids, hyperoside, choline, acetylcholine,
essential oil, trimethylamine, flavone glycosides,
hyperoside, and quercetin. The leaves are rich in
phytoncide and the roots contain okonakintin (a quinine
substitute) [19].
Crataegus primary nutrients are flavone glucosides
– crystalline dyes of orange and red colour. This plant
is a rich source of vitamin P. The maximum amount
of flavonoids in the P-vitamin complex accumulates
in the green leaves (4–5% for Crataegus sanguinea),
remaining in the fallen leaves. An infusion of Crataegus
fruits and flowers or a liquid fruit extract reduce the
excitability of the central nervous system and have a
tonic effect on the heart muscle. They increase blood
circulation in the coronary vessels of the heart and
brain and eliminate tachycardia and arrhythmia by
normaliыing the rhythm of cardiac activity. In addition,
they slightly reduce blood pressure, improve sleep
and a general state of health. Crataegus medicines
have a beneficial effect on the functioning of the heart,
expanding its vessels, which is especially important for
the elderly [19].
Origanum vulgare contains up to 1.2% of an
essential oil (so-called ‘intoxicating’ oil) that has a
pleasant smell and bactericidal properties. It consists of
aromatic alcohol, phenols, thymol (up to 3.8–10.2%) and
its carvacrol isomer, as well as bi- and geranyl acetate
(up to 5%). The plant also contains free alcohols (up
to 15%), sesquiterpenes (12.5%), ascorbic acid (up to
565 mg% in leaves), and flavonoids. In addition, it is a
source of polyphenolic compounds (up to 12–20%), five
flavonic glycosides, tarry substances (10%), coumarins
(1.4%), tannins (1.9–4%), and colouring agents. The
content of ascorbic acid is 565 mg% in the leaves,
58 mg% in the stems, and 166 mg% in the flowers.
Phytocomponents enrich products with micronutrients
– biologically active substances that increase their
nutritional and biological value. They also provide
products with functional properties. Further studies
in using non-conventional plants as raw materials for
functional products will help us replenish the deficiency
of nutrients in the human body. In addition, they will give
us an extra opportunity for using natural resources [19].
Potoroko et al. patented a formulation composed of
skim milk powder, 30% cream, aqueous malt extract,
fried green malt, a ginseng dietary supplement,
eleutherococcus, milk thistle, echinacea, starter culture
of lactic streptococci, Bifilact D and thermophilic
bacteria, a stabiliser, fruit or vegetable puree, honey,
fat-soluble vitamin D, and water [20]. This formulation
ensures a high biological value, long shelf-life, and good
sensory characteristics.
In another study, Potoroko et al. described the
preparation of a functional kefir drink enriched with
alfalfa extract [21]. After introducing alfalfa extract into
milk, it was fermented at about 20°C for 10–12 h. Then
the temperature was lowered to 12–16°С and the product
was left at rest for 4–6 h for yeast to develop. After that,
the product was cooled to 8–10°C and left for 12–24 h
to ripen. Ethanol and carbon dioxide accumulated as a
result of yeast development, giving the finished product
a specific taste and smell. Alfalfa extract was chosen
due to its composition. It contains organic and inorganic
compounds, amino acids, monosugars, phenolic
compounds, and trace elements characteristic of plant
materials, as well as humic and other biologically active
substances not commonly found in plant extracts. The
extract affected the fermentation rate and intensified
lactose conversion and proteolytic reactions, making the
kefir drink dietetic. Most importantly, it did not contain
any limiting amino acids.
Skorkina et al. created a formulation for biokefir
based on skim milk and two plant components,
hawthorn puree and stevia syrup [22]. Hawthorn puree
contains substances that expand the blood vessels of
the heart and improve the absorption of oxygen by
the heart muscle, relieving arrhythmia. In addition,
hawthorn reduces blood pressure and has a calming
effect. It contains vitamins C and PP, carotene, some
acids, and plenty of sugars (fructose) and pectin, which
removes heavy metal salts and other harmful substances
Sukhikh S.A. et al. Foods and Raw Materials, 2019, vol. 7, no. 2, pp. 428-438
from the body. Stevia is rich in glycosides (stevioside,
rebaudioside (A, C, D, E); dulcoside, and steviolbioside)
which help to improve carbohydrate metabolism and
stimulate the secretion of inulin in diabetes mellitus. It
also contains vitamin C, β-carоtеnе, and minerals (zinc,
selenium) with antioxidant properties. Its mild diuretic
effect helps to remove metabolic products, toxins, and
salts of heavy metals from the body. The syrup sweetness
has a factor of 1:30. According to the study, the acidity
of biokefir with natural additives increased throughout its
shelf-life, but remained within the normal range.
Lyu patented a formulation for fermented milk
yogurt with mild diuretic properties. It contained
200–220 parts of purple sweet potatoes, 10–12 parts of
skimmed milk powder, 6–7 parts of dates, 2–4 parts
of Houttuynia cordata, 5–6 parts of liquorice root,
8–10 parts of peppermint aqueous extract, 2–3 parts of
corn fibres, 4–6 parts of algae, 3–5 parts of pomegranate
peel, 6–8 parts of Centaurea, 0.2–0.4 part of stevioside,
10–15 parts of honey, 10–12 parts of glucose, as well
as Streptococcus thermophilus and Lactobacillus
bulgaricus bacteria [23]. The product had a pleasant
taste, a long shelf-life, and probiotic properties. It helped
to cleanse the urinary system.
Joung et al. developed yogurt with extracts from
two traditional Korean plants: persimmon (Diospyros
kaki L.) and lotus (Nelumbo nucifera L.) [24]. The
extracts were prepared by boiling in a water bath at
100°C for 9 min, with periodic stirring and further
filtration of the aqueous part. The resulting product
was vacuum-dried at max. 50°C. The plant additives
were introduced into whole milk prior to fermentation.
Then, Streptococcus thermophilus and Lactobacillus
delbrueckii subsp. bulgaricus bacteria cultures were
added in the amounts of 2.95 and 1.14 log CFU/mL,
respectively. The plant extracts prolonged the product’s
shelf-life, reduced the fermentation time, improved
the viability of the starter culture, structured the
product, and enriched it with phenolic compounds with
antibacterial, antioxidant, and immunomodulatory
The authors of another study formulated fermented
milk drinks enriched with ayrampo fruit extract [25].
Ayrampo aqueous extract is a rich source of natural
beta-cyanine pigments and antioxidants, highly stable
during heat treatment and storage.
Oh et al. proposed using aqueous extracts of
Cudrania tricuspidata and Morus alba (commonly
known as white mulberry). These extracts work
as prebiotic additives that increase the rate of
bacterial growth and fermentation intensity [26].
Streptococcus thermophilus and Lactobacillus
delbrueckii ssp. bulgaricus were used as probiotic
microorganisms. The plant extracts enriched the drinks
with monosaccharides, as well as non-chlorogenic,
chlorogenic, and caffeic acids, which have a mild
stimulating effect on the body.
Chiodelli et al. evaluated the effect of Aloe
barbadensis and Aloe arborescens extracts on
the properties of a dairy product fermented with
Lactobacillus bacteria [27]. The extracts helped to
structure the product, gave it a pleasant taste and smell,
and enriched it with secondary metabolites, improving
enzymatic processes and increasing the product’s
nutritional value. Aloe extracts contain enzymes,
vitamins, phytoncides, aloin, nataloin, rabarberon,
homonatalain, emodin (1.66%), tarry substances, and
traces of essential oils. The latter have a pronounced
anti-inflammatory properties, increase the secretion of
digestive glands, improve appetite and digestion, and
prevent the development of pathogenic flora. In addition,
milk drinks enriched with aloe and Lactobacillus
rhamnosus reduce the size of adipocytes and increase
their number. They can also lower body weight and
blood glucose levels, which makes them effective in
fighting excess weight and treating type II diabetes [28].
The extracts obtained from the roots of Rhodiola
rosea, Eleutherococcus senticosus, and Panax ginseng
can also be effectively used to enrich fermented
milk drinks. These plants are the most widely used
adaptogens and natural stimulants. Panax ginseng
is a rich source of ginsenosides. Eleutherococcus
contains several eleutherosides which are responsible
for adaptogenic activity. Rhodiola rosea contains
salidroside, tyrosol, and rosavins, which are presumably
active compounds. Molgaard et al. studied the properties
of pasteurised milk drinks enriched with Rhodiola
rosea, Eleutherococcus senticosus, and Panax ginseng.
Тhe content of active components was determined by
HPLC after pasteurisation [29]. The results showed that
eleutherosides from Eleutherococcus and ginsenosides
from Panax ginseng could survive pasteurisation, while
salidroside and rosavin from Rhodiola rosea root were
destroyed. Thus, the authors warned against using this
additive in heat-treated products.
In the work by Kurnakova, blueberries were used to
increase the nutritional value, enhance taste, and prolong
the shelf-life of the product. These effects are due to
anthocyanosides, which are detrimental to E. coli and
other pathogenic microorganisms [30]. Anthoconosides
protect the cardiovascular system, prevent varicose
veins, have antibacterial properties, and are beneficial
for vision.
Gabriel et al. developed a new probiotic product
called ‘Rosalact’. It was made from pasteurised milk
enriched with extracts of medicinal plants (rosehip,
liquorice) and probiotic ABT-5 culture [31]. It was
found that liquorice root extract contains carbohydrates
and related compounds (glucose, fructose, sucrose,
and maltose), polysaccharides (up to 34% starch, up
to 30% cellulose, and pectin substances), organic
acids (succinic, fumaric, citric, malic, and tartaric),
essential oils, triterpenoids (glycyrrhizic acid), resins,
steroids (β-sitosterol), phenolcarboxylic acids and their
Sukhikh S.A. et al. Foods and Raw Materials, 2019, vol. 7, no. 2, pp. 428-438
derivatives (ferulic, synomal, and salicylic), coumarins
(herniarin, umbelliferone, etc.), tannins (8.3–14.2%),
flavonoids (liquiquirithin, isoliquirithin, liququiritozide,
quercetin, kempferol, apigenin, etc.), higher aliphatic
hydrocarbons and alcohols, higher fatty acids, and
alkaloids. Rose hips give the dairy product a wide range
of functional properties, making it suitable for daily
use, as well as in supportive therapy for colds, kidney
disease, cardiovascular disease, and prevention of
vitamin deficiency.
In another study, liquorice root extract and sea
buckthorn fruits were used to enrich milk-based
drinks [32]. Milk was mixed with the plant extracts
and fermented at 42°C for 5 h using ABY-3 culture
bacteria (Bifidobacterium, Streptococcus thermophilus,
Lactobacillus acidophilus, and Lactobacillus delbrueckii
subsp. bulgaricus). As a result, the final product had
an increased content of vitamins B1, B2, C, E, K, P, as
well as flavonoids, folic acid, carotenoids, betaine,
choline, coumarins, glucose, fructose and phospholipids,
macroelements and microelements (sodium, magnesium,
iron, silicon, aluminium, lead, nickel, manganese,
strontium, and molybdenum). In addition, the product
had an extended shelf-life.
Mariola et al. studied the effect that phenolic
compounds of rosemary, hyssop, nettle, caraway, and
lemon balm extracts had on the growth of Lactobacillus
acidophilus and L. delbrueckii bacteria [33]. It was
shown that rosemary extract suppressed the growth
and activity of the bacteria. Lemon balm extract had
the maximum amount of antioxidant substances, which
extended the product’s shelf-life. Thus, the authors did
not recommend using rosemary as a functional additive
for drinks containing lactobacilli. Alternatively, they
could be added at the very end of the process, after
In view of the above, there is a clear need to fully
utilise plant biodiversity and create effective and
safe functional products. Russia is home to many
medicinal plants that are absent in the pharmacopoeias
of other countries. They include Eleutherococcus
senticosus, Schisandra chinensis, Paeonia anomala,
Leonurus cardiaca, Rhodiola rosea, Rhaponticum
carthamoides, Thermopsis lanceolata, Colchicum,
Astragalus dasyanthus, Phlojodicarpus sibiricus,
Peganum harmala, Hedysarum alpinum, Filipendula
ulmaria, Lespedeza bicolor, Lespedezae hedysaroides,
Securinega suffruticosa, Salsola collina, Sphaerophysa
salsula, and Scutellaria baicalensis [34, 35]. This work
should involve research into using cultivated agricultural
plants as a source of medicinal raw materials [36].
Many plant species, especially endemic, have
disappeared or are threatened with extinction and listed
in the Red Book of Russia. Although there is a high
demand for them in medicine, pharmacists have to
exclude them from the pharmacopoeia. These factors
have created a need for further research into their
reproduction and return to favourable habitats. Many of
these plants are the only sources of unique substances
that can be used in treating cancer, Alzheimer’s,
neurological and other diseases. For example, vogonosin,
a flavone of Scutellaria baicalensis has apoptotic
properties and is able to target cancer cells and destroy
them without affecting the healthy ones [36]. This
plant grows in the natural environment in very scarce
amounts, therefore its medical substances can only be
produced by cell bioengineering methods.
Over 40 years ago, scientists tried to propagate
cell and tissue cultures in vitro and select the most
productive cells and differentiated tissues. In most
cases, it was impossible to isolate a sufficient amount
of required metabolites from plant materials. One
of the turning points was the discovery of genetic
transformation using Agrobacterium rhizogenes soil
bacterium [37].
The agrobacterial transformation of plant roots made
it possible to obtain secondary metabolites for medical
use: alkaloids, coumarins, phenolic compounds, and
some others [38]. Plant studies in this direction are
especially relevant.
The lack of secondary growth in the roots inhibits
the production of a wider range of biologically active
substances. It is known that the activity of secondary
substances often increases in roots with secondary
growth, which can contribute to a greater yield of target
metabolic products. Therefore, we need to develop
various methods that induce the production of secondary
metabolites in hairy root cultures and their secretion into
the culture medium.
One of the problems is how to preserve the roots for
a long time without causing repeated subinoculation.
Although there are numerous methods available today
that maintain and preserve the created cultures, further
research is needed to develop more advanced methods of
cryopreservation and those using bioreactors.
This market segment has a huge growth potential. In
Russia, hairy root cultures are still a fairly new concept.
Only few scientific groups conduct fundamental and
applied research using hairy roots as model objects.
Moreover, there are no commercially successful Russian
projects in this area. The hairy roots technology could
be used in the production of functional foods, lowering
costs and extending the list of biologically active plants,
including endangered species [39].
In general, the state of people’s health in Russia calls
for more advanced research and full utilisation of local
medicinal plants to obtain biologically active substances
for using in the food industry. Considerable funds are
currently allocated to support innovative research and
development of advanced technologies in this area.
There are a number of objective and subjective
reasons behind the growing production and consumption
Sukhikh S.A. et al. Foods and Raw Materials, 2019, vol. 7, no. 2, pp. 428-438
of functional products all over the world. These include:
– changes in the structure and quality of modern
nutrition: a significant decrease (2–3 times compared to
100–150 years ago) in vitamins, minerals, dietary fibre,
and other vital substances;
– a real risk of chemical and biological contamination
of foods with nitrates, nitrites, salts of heavy metals
(mercury, tin, lead, copper, cadmium, antimony,
vanadium, chromium, molybdenum, manganese, and
cobalt), microscopic fungi, pathogenic microorganisms,
dyes, preservatives, etc.;
– a need for certain essential nutrients, which are not
formed in the body, to come with food: some macroand
microelements (selenium, magnesium, vanadium,
zinc, iron, molybdenum, etc.), vitamins (E, D, A, etc.),
amino acids (methionine, leucine, lysine, histidine, etc.),
and polyunsaturated fatty acids (linoleic, linolenic,
arachidonic, etc.); they are important for metabolic
processes, the synthesis of enzymes, hormones, and
vitamins, for haematopoiesis and tissue repair, etc.;
– a decrease in human motor activity and
overconsumption of refined foods with various additives,
leading to a 40–60% deficiency of vitamins and
essential macro- and microelements in the diet;
– a growing attention to one’s own health and efforts
to cut down on drugs by having a balanced diet and
consuming more functional foods;
– high incidence of chronic diseases (cardiovascular,
endocrine, Alzheimer’s, motor disease, etc.), which
require functional products for medicinal and
preventative purposes;
– high cholesterol levels among over 20% of the
population, encouraging them to prefer functional foods
to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease;
– a growing number of obese children and adults with a
high risk of heart disease, asthma, diabetes, and cancer;
– active involvement of specialised medical associations
and funds in the prevention of cardiovascular, diabetic,
orthopaedic, oncological, and other diseases (their
logos and recommendations, e.g. glycaemic index, are
indicated on food labels); better design and quality of
food packaging materials; more packages suitable for
microwave ovens [36, 38, 39].
Functional products, including drinks, have a variety
of positive effects on metabolic processes. They reduce
glucose and cholesterol levels in the blood and help
the absorption of trace elements in the large intestine.
In addition, they strengthen the immune system, help
to prevent cancer, and exhibit a wide range of other
properties: anti-allergic, anti-inflammatory, antithrombotic,
antimicrobial, stimulating, health-beneficial,
antispasmodic, and antioxidant. Functional foods
increase resistance to infectious diseases and enhance
the body’s ability to adapt to adverse environmental
factors (weather, ionisation, oxygen deficiency,
intensive workload, etc.). These adaptogens increase the
sensitivity of cells to endogenous insulin, normalising
the metabolism of carbohydrates, proteins, and fatty
acids [39, 40].
Thus, functional milk-based drinks enriched with
plant components are a promising direction in the dairy
industry. They improve the immune system and can
be used as part of supportive therapy. They are also
suitable for daily use to replenish the balance of essential
The authors declare no conflict of interest.
This work was performed under Agreement
No. 075-02-2018-223 of November 26, 2018 and
Agreement No. EB 075-15-2019-1362 of June 14, 2019
(unique agreement identifier RFMEFI57718X0285)
on the theme entitled ‘Obtaining biologically active
substances from medicinal plants endemic to Siberia
using cell cultures and organs of higher plants.’


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