Kefir is a drink rich in lactic ferments obtained from the fermentation of milk: originally from the Caucasus, it is still very popular in the former Soviet Union; it contains about 0,8% of lactic acid and has a fresh taste; depending on the different fermentation methods, kefir can have a small CO2 and alcohol content, both due to the fermentation processes of yeasts.
It is prepared using fresh milk (sheep, goat or cow) and kefir enzymes or granules, formed by a polysaccharide called kefiran which hosts colonies of mainly mesophilic and yeast bacteria in symbiotic association; the ferments of milk kefir are not adaptable to ferment the sugars contained in other liquid suspensions, such as soy and rice drinks or water and sugar solutions, while water kefir grains are suitable for fermenting this type of solution.
Kefir and Its Biological Activities, a study published on the Foods magazine, showcases some very interesting results, which explain how this drink has a positive effect on our body, especially from a biological point of view.
We can read: "Kefir is a fermented beverage with renowned probiotics that coexist in symbiotic association with other microorganisms in kefir grains. This beverage consumption is associated with a wide array of nutraceutical benefits, including anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidative, anti-cancer , anti-microbial, anti-diabetic, anti-hypertensive, and anti-hypercholesterolemic effects.
Moreover, kefir can be adapted into different substrates which allow the production of new functional beverages to provide product diversification. Being safe and inexpensive, there is an immense global interest in kefir's nutritional potential.
Due to their promising benefits, kefir and kefir-like products have a great prospect for commercialization. This manuscript reviews the therapeutic aspects of kefir to date, and potential applications of kefir products in the health and food industries, along with the limitations.
The literature reviewed here demonstrates that there is a growing demand for kefir as a fu nctional food owing to a number of health-promoting properties."
Sperm whale with crippled tail after impact with ship still resists
The total number of sperm whales around the world is unknown.
Approximate estimates, obtained from the reconnaissance of small areas and extrapolating the result from all the oceans of the world, range from 200,000 to 2,000,000 individuals. Although the sperm whale has been hunted for a few centuries for meat, oil and spermaceti, the conservationist perspective of the sperm whale is brighter than that of many other whales.
Although small-scale inshore fishing still survives in Indonesia, it is protected virtually all over the world. Fishermen do not catch the deep sea creatures that sperm whales feed on, and the deep sea is probably more resistant to pollution than the surface layers.
However, recovery from the whaling years is a slow process, especially in the South Pacific, where the price paid by males of reproductive age has been very severe. Sperm whales are not the easiest whales to observe, due to their long diving periods and their ability to travel long distances underwater.
However, due to this whale's distinctive appearance and large size, its observation is becoming very popular. Sperm whale watchers often use hydrophones to listen for the snaps of whales and locate them before they resurface.
Famous spots for sperm whale watching include picturesque Kaikoura on New Zealand's South Island, where the continental shelf is so narrow that whales can be seen from the coast, Andenes and Tromsø in Arctic Norway, and the Azores, where they can be seen all year round, unlike other whales, which can only be seen during migrations.
Dominica is believed to be the only Caribbean island with a year round resident herd of females and pups. Eight species of cetaceans live in the Mediterranean Sea, including the sperm whale. A sperm whale, called Atlas, continues to resist even after impact with a ship's propeller that has crippled its tail.
The images were taken by Biagio Violi of the Menkab team, who has been operating in the Mediterranean for over ten years with environmental research and dissemination objectives. Atlas has the margin of the caudal fin is strongly impaired, the left lobe has also been partially torn. Fortunately, the sperm whale does not appear to suffer significant consequences from this significant handicap.