Authors: Adadi P., Barakova N.V., Muravyov K.Y., Krivoshapkina E.F.
A functional food is any food that has (a) specific nutrient(s) added to it for a specific functional purpose. Selenium (Se) is a metalloid that belongs to group 16 of the periodic table. It may be obtained from myriad sources like soil, water, and living organisms. Se is required to sustain proper health in both animals and humans due to its linkage with various biological functions in the immune system. Nature has made it impossible for us to obtain sufficient Se from the diet since some regions across the globe have been designated as Se-deficient while others are becoming Se-toxic. Se deficiency is associated with a compromised immune system and increased susceptibility to various diseases. Therefore, designing Se functional foods and supplements is the way forward in curbing the menace mentioned above, since geographical location will not have any effect on the Se content of these foods. Brewing yeast has the necessary enzymes to biotransform inorganic Se (Na2SeO3) to its bioactive organic form, which is incorporated in the aged selenized beer. S. cerevisiae was found to have better biotransformation efficiency than other yeast species. A traditional Slavic beverage, selenized kvass, was brewed using rye grains soaked and germinated in solutions of Na2SeO3. Fruit yeasts (Lesaffre) and Evitalia were utilized as the starter cultures. A Se enriched solution was extracted from Se-biofortified pak-choi cabbage and incorporated into the wort before fermentation. Selenized yeast and algae can be taken as supplements or as food additives. There have been some reports about microcystins (MCs) in Spirulina. Therefore, the safety of Se-algae is not guaranteed. Pasteurized dried selenized supplements (yeast and algae) were proposed in formulating Selenized enriched Tom-brown. This review seeks to propose some possible foods that could be enriched with Se. A large portion of the population adequately consumes these proposed foods on a regular basis hence the target goal would be a success.