The current demand for plant-based food indicates that the food market is providing alternatives for products that are currently commercially available. This chapter discusses the possible use of germinated bean seeds as a raw material in the production of substitutes for dairy products, including fermented ones. Beans are a valuable source of easily digestible protein, carbohydrates, minerals, and various vitamins (e.g., B vitamin group). They also contain significant amounts of fiber which affects the proper functioning of the digestive system and antioxidant compounds. The fat content is low and is estimated to be around only 1–2%. However, it is mainly (about 70%) constituted by unsaturated fatty acids, including the polyunsaturated ones such as linoleic acid or linolenic acid, which are desirable in the human diet for the prevention of cardiovascular diseases or cancer. Biological processes such as germination or fermentation may improve the nutritional value of bean seeds (by increasing the content, digestibility, and bioavailability of some nutrients and by eliminating undesirable components) and deliver live cells of prohealth bacteria (lactic acid bacteria, propionic acid bacteria, or bifidobacteria).
Part of the book: Milk Substitutes