Journal of Functional Foods, Volume 87, December 2021,
The performance of probiotic bacterial strains is influenced by the carrier food and its functional components which while buffering the probiotic through the gastro-intestinal tract, contribute to an efficient implantation of bacterial cells and regulate probiotic features. Particularly, plant-based matrices are eligible substrate for hosting and delivering microbial populations because of their richness in nutrients, fibers, vitamins, minerals and dietary bioactive phytochemicals. The available data indicate that the intrinsic health-promoting properties of diverse plant-based matrices can be successfully exploited and improved developing effective association with probiotics, whose beneficial activity could be in turn improved and modulated by components of the plant-based carrier. In this review, the health-promoting properties of solid plant-based matrices (particularly artichokes, table olives, apple and cabbage) and their association with probiotic bacteria are also described indicating the role of the food matrix in sustaining probiotic cells during product processing, digestive process, gut implantation, and finally in exerting beneficial effects.