Supplementary Material for: Analysis of the Cariogenic Potential of Various Almond Milk Beverages using a Streptococcus mutans Biofilm Model in vitro
To evaluate the cariogenic properties of almond milk beverages, 6 almond milks, along with soy and whole bovine milk, were analyzed for their abilities to support Streptococcus mutans biofilm formation and acid production, and their capacity to buffer changes in pH. Biofilm formation by S. mutans was analyzed using an in vitro 96-well plate model and measured by crystal violet staining. Acid production by S. mutans was evaluated by a colorimetric L-lactate assay and pH measurement of bacterial cultures. Buffering capacity was assessed by a pH titration assay. Soy milk supported the most biofilm growth, while the least was observed with unsweetened almond milk (both p < 0.001). Among almond milks, sucrose-sweetened milk led to the highest level of biofilm formation (p < 0.001), while the least was observed with unsweetened milk (p < 0.05). Sucrose-sweetened almond milk yielded the lowest pH (4.56 ± 0.66), followed by soy milk and bovine milk; the highest pH was with unsweetened almond milk (6.48 ± 0.5). When analyzed by pH titration, the unsweetened almond milk displayed the weakest buffering capacity while bovine milk showed the highest (p < 0.001). These results suggest that the almond milk beverages, except those that are sweetened with sucrose, possess limited cariogenic properties, while soy milk exhibits the most cariogenic potential. As milk alternatives become increasingly popular, dentists must counsel their patients that almond milks, especially sucrose-sweetened varieties, have cariogenic potential. For patients who are lactose-intolerant or suffer from milk allergy, almond milks may be a better alternative than soy-based products.