Antagonistic activities of lactic acid bacteria in food and feed fermentations

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Many factors contribute to a successful natural fermentation of carbohydrate-rich food and feed products. Metabolic activities of lactic acid bacteria (LAB) play a leading role. Their ability to rapidly produce copious amounts of acidic end products with a concomitant pH reduction is the major factor in these fermentations. Although their specific effects are difficult to quantitate, other LAB metabolic products such as hydrogen peroxide and diacetyl can also contribute to the overall antibiosis and preservative potential of these products. The contribution of bacteriocins is also difficult to evaluate. It is suggested that they may play a role in selecting the microflora which initiates the fermentation. Bacteriocins are believed to be important in the ability of LAB to compete in non-fermentative ecosystems such as the gastro-intestinal tract. During the past few decades interest has arisen in the use of the varied antagonistic activities of LAB to extent the shelf-life of protein-rich products such as meats and fish. Recent findings indicate that the newly discovered Lactobacillus reuteri reuterin system may be used for this purpose.




Lindgren, S. E., & Dobrogosz, W. J. (1991). Antagonistic activities of lactic acid bacteria in food and feed fermentations. FEMS Microbiology Letters, 87(1–2), 149–163.

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