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August 2, 2023

Bio soups: Producing safe and functional food

Dehydrated soups are products that are both quick to prepare and are also safe in terms of microbiological contamination, primarily due to their low water content. In addition to increased stability during storage, dehydrated soups have useful nutritional properties, and often therapeutic applications. For all their positives, dehydrated soups usually contain synthetic additives to improve the colour or to enhance the aroma, most commonly monosodium glutamate (E621). Mushrooms have been used in the industrial production of dehydrated soups for a long time, but even so, there is still no industrial production of dehydrated soups enriched with mushroom extracts on the market. Extracts have a great advantage over dried mushrooms, because they contain a higher content of chemical, nutritive, and biologically active components. Therefore, the consumption of these soups could be extremely important in maintaining consumers' immune systems and wider health.

Characterisation of bio soups

Dehydrated soups are beneficial in a number of ways as they are durable, nutritious, and can support a person’s health. Despite their numerous positives, dehydrated soups often rely on synthetic additives. However, increasing the use of mushroom extracts on an industrial scale to enrich the soups may be one option, as explored in this study.

Throughout the course our extensive research, we applied lyophilised (or freeze-dried) aqueous extracts of wild edible and medicinal mushrooms (Suillus granulatus, Coriolus versicolor and Fuscoporia torulosa) to industrially produced dehydrated soups. In this way, we obtained a product without using synthetic additives, primarily monosodium glutamate. Soup is usually consumed for health and nutritional benefits, especially by people whose solid food intake is low for obstructive or pathological reasons. In these circumstances, soups are the best choice for overcoming nutrient deficiencies.

Antimicrobial activity of bio soups

The three bio soups samples which were treated with lyophilised aqueous extracts showed a significantly higher antimicrobial activity in comparison to the control sample, which showed barely any antimicrobial activity.

The best results for most tested strains (S. aureus (13.1 mm), E. faecalis, (14.3 mm), S. Enteritidis (17.0 mm), E. coli (6.5 mm) and S. sonnei (8.1 mm)) during all observed days were found in the bio soups that had been enriched with extracts from Fuscoporia torulosa. Notably, all three bio soups have stable antimicrobial activity up to a year after production. In contrast, conventional soup had minimal antimicrobial activity observed against S. aureus (1.9 mm), S. Enteritidis (2.6 mm) and E. coli (1.5 mm), which compared to the bio soups were insignificant values. Therefore, it cannot be said that conventional soups are characterised by antimicrobial activity.

Accordingly, bio soups have a strong antimicrobial potential. As a result, bio soups can be used as a functional food to prevent many pathogenic microorganisms, contributing to the improvement of the overall immune system, or as an immunomodulator to improve consumer health.

While lyophilised aqueous mushroom extracts applied in bio soups have identical, even stronger antimicrobial activity when compared to synthetic antibiotics like tetracycline, chloramphenicol, and bifonazole, natural components have a different antibiotic structure. Therefore, these natural extracts do not carry the same risk of creating resistance to microorganisms or antibiotics.

Antioxidant activity of bio soups

Based on laboratory analyses to determine the antioxidant capacity of bio soups (by determining the ability to capture free DPPH radicals, the ability to chelate iron ions, and the conjugated diene method) it can be concluded that bio soups were characterised with significantly higher antioxidant capacity compared to control sample (conventional soups).

All three types of bio soups have stable antioxidant potential a year after production, which means that they are characterised by antioxidant stability. This clearly indicates that these extracts from tested mushroom species have a significant impact on increasing the antioxidant capacity of conventional vegetable soups. Regular consumption of bio soups may affect the neutralisation of free radicals in the human body, meaning that this product, as a functional, healthy food, could have a potentially positive impact on consumer health and would have a preventive effect against the occurrence of certain chronic diseases.

Solving problems on the market?

On the market, bio soups could replace synthetic additive-containing conventional soups, as the first innovative functional product of this type. Overconsumption of synthetic additives can cause a number of serious diseases and disorders. Hence, bio soups are inspired and created as a novel product that not only does not contain synthetic additives, but also has increased biological activity (antioxidant, antimicrobial, immunomodulatory) to protect consumers’ health and provide support to the overall immune system health.

Moreover, the preparation time for bio soups is minimal and can be as little as ten minutes, meaning that they fit perfectly into today’s dynamic way of life. But, unlike fast food, bio soups are healthy and nutritious, and in addition to having strong biological activity. This is of great importance, not only individually, but also socially, since raising awareness around such products can improve the health and immunity of the entire population and future generations. This product can be used by all types of consumers without any restrictions.


The main positive effect of the bio soups is multiplied due to the antioxidant, antimicrobial, and immunomodulatory effects of the extracts. Nonetheless, it should be emphasised that, despite the healing properties of soups as functional foods, they are neither a medicine, nor should be seen a substitute for medicine.

All this contributes to world trends and technological procedures, where the correct use of mushroom extracts can achieve the desired properties of a particular product, resulting in the complete replacement of some synthetic additives in certain segments of the food industry.

Dr Monika Stojanova – Association for Scientific-research, Educational and Cultural Activity ‘Open Science’, North Macedonia;
Prof Dr Milena Pantic – University of Belgrade, Faculty of Agriculture, Belgrade, Serbia.
Prof Dr Miomir Niksic – University of Belgrade, Faculty of Agriculture, Belgrade, Serbia.


Stojanova, M, et al (2021) Antioxidant potential of extracts of three mushroom species collected from the Republic of North Macedonia. Journal of Food Processing and Preservation. 45(2), 00:e15155. https://
Mohamed, RS, et al, (2020) Efficiency of newly formulated functional instant soup mixtures as dietary supplements for elderly. Heliyon, 6, e03197. doi:10.1016/j.heliyon.2020.e03197

Naghedi-Baghdar, H, et al (2018) Effect of a functional food (vegetable soup) on blood rheology in patients with polycythemia. Avicenna Journal of Phytomedicine, 8(5), 389-398.

Written By

Dr. Monika Stojanova
Association for Scientific-research, Educational and Cultural activities 'Open Science'

Contact Details

Email: [email protected]

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