Kefir as a Functional Beverage Gaining Momentum towards Its Health Promoting Attributes

Vassilios Ganatsios, Poonam Singh - Nee Nigam, Stavros Plessas, Antonia Terpou

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

51 Citations (Scopus)
176 Downloads (Pure)


The consumption of fermented foods posing health-promoting attributes is a rising global
trend. In this manner, fermented dairy products represent a significant subcategory of functional
foods with established positive health benefits. Likewise, kefir—a fermented milk product manufactured from kefir grains—has been reported by many studies to be a probiotic drink with great
potential in health promotion. Existing research data link regular kefir consumption with a wide
range of health-promoting attributes, and more recent findings support the link between kefir’s
probiotic strains and its bio-functional metabolites in the enhancement of the immune system, providing significant antiviral effects. Although it has been consumed for thousands of years, kefir
has recently gained popularity in relation to novel biotechnological applications, with different
fermentation substrates being tested as non-dairy functional beverages. The present review focuses
on the microbiological composition of kefir and highlights novel applications associated with its
fermentation capacity. Future prospects relating to kefir’s capacity for disease prevention are also
addressed and discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Article number48
Pages (from-to)1-15
Number of pages15
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - Sept 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.


  • Antiviral effects
  • Bioactive metabolites
  • Functional beverage
  • Health aspects
  • Kefir
  • Lactic acid bacteria
  • Probiotics
  • Yeasts


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