DIY Fruit Enzyme Drink – Is It Any Good?

Fruit enzyme drink is a popular drink among those who are health conscious. Proponents of fruit enzyme drink claim that the drink contains probiotics, antioxidants, and enzymes, as such, it can bring about many health benefits including aiding digestion, boosting immunity, improving skin health, alkalizing body, and many more. Are these claims well founded? Let’s see.

The making of fruit enzyme drink

Making fruit enzyme drink

The drink is made by mixing fruits with brown sugar or honey and allow the mixture to undergo fermentation. It is easy to make with many recipes available online. In general, the steps include the following:

  1. Cut fruits into slices
  2. Layer fruit slides with sugar or honey in a clean and dry glass jar
  3. Cover the glass jar with a tight lid
  4. Store in a dry place under room temperature for 3-4 weeks
  5. Filter and consume the resultant liquid

The process of making fruit enzyme drink is simple. Unlike other types of fermented drinks such as kefir or yogurt, there is no addition of any active culture of bacteria or yeast to aid the fermentation process. Therefore, the fermented process, in this case, is at best partially completed.

What is the content of fruit enzyme drink?

What’s in it? We are not sure.

The resultant fruit enzyme drink is fragrant and sweet, but you can taste the alcohol content nonetheless. There currently no published scientific study that analyses the nutritional and chemical content fruit enzyme drink. We can only deduce what it may contain.

Clearly, the by putting sugar (contain glucose) and fruits (contain fructose) together in a tightly sealed bottle, alcoholic fermentation is taking place, producing ethanol and carbon dioxide. However, without the addition of any fermenting agent such as yeast to speed up the process, the fermentation is slow and incomplete. Therefore, the fruit enzyme drink is still very high in sugar content – which makes it sweet.

Enzymes, antioxidants, and probiotics?

Enzymes are biological components that act as “catalysts” that can speed up the biochemical reactions. There is no doubt many types of natural enzymes are present in fruits. Some of the more well-known enzymes which have health and medicinal values include bromelain from pineapples and papain from papaya. These enzymes have strong anti-inflammatory properties and are useful in improving heart and circulatory function as well as joint pain [1,2]. Enzymes also aid in the digestion of nutrients: proteases break down long protein chains into smaller amino acid chains and eventually into single amino acids; amylases reduce carbohydrates (polysaccharides) to disaccharides: lactose, maltose, and sucrose; and lipases break triglycerides into individual fatty acids and glycerol.

All fruits are rich in antioxidants and enzymes, what makes the fruit enzyme drinks special ?

However, it is the fruits used to make the enzyme drink that contain these enzymes, it is unclear whether the partial fermentation process affects the enzymes in the fruits in any way. The same applies to the antioxidants content of the fruits. We know that fruits are high in antioxidants, but it is unclear whether the partial fermentation process helps to increase or decrease the antioxidant potential of the fruits.

There are two types of fermentation, lactic acid fermentation aided by lactic acid bacteria, and alcohol fermentation involves yeasts and other bacterial forms [3]. Fruits and vegetables fermented through the lactic acid fermentation, such as Sauerkraut and Kimchi, are known to be good sources of probiotics [4]. The same cannot be said about the alcohol fermentation process. Without the addition of lactic acid bacteria as a culture in the making of fruit enzyme drink, it is also unclear how abundant is the presence of good bacteria in the fruit enzyme drink.

Lactobacillus sp 01

Can we find good bacteria like Lactobacillus strains in fruit enzyme drink? We are not sure.

Conclusion

In conclusion, without any kind of scientific study on what type of enzymes, antioxidants and probiotics that are present in the fruit enzyme drink, it will be presumptuous to make any health claims on the benefits of fruit enzyme drink, especially after so much sugar is added in the process.  There is a lack of evidence supporting any of the health claims.

Nevertheless, this does not mean that taking the fruit enzyme drink does not have any benefits; we are simply not clear whether it is any better than eating raw fruits or drinking fruit juice. here is no harm in making and taking such a drink, but with its high sugar content, moderation is recommended.    

References

[1]        E. Amri, F. Mamboya, Papain, a plant enzyme of biological importance: A review, Am. J. Biochem. Biotechnol. 8 (2012) 99–104. doi:10.3844/ajbbsp.2012.99.104.

[2]        R. Pavan, S. Jain, Shraddha, A. Kumar, Properties and therapeutic application of bromelain: a review., Biotechnol. Res. Int. 2012 (2012) 976203. doi:10.1155/2012/976203.

[3]        Difference Between Alcohol and Lactic Acid Fermentation | Difference Between, (n.d.). http://www.differencebetween.net/science/health/difference-between-alcohol-and-lactic-acid-fermentation/ (accessed September 13, 2018).

[4]        M.R. Swain, M. Anandharaj, R.C. Ray, R. Parveen Rani, Fermented Fruits and Vegetables of Asia: A Potential Source of Probiotics, Biotechnol. Res. Int. 2014 (2014) 1–19. doi:10.1155/2014/250424.

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