Carbohydrate fermentation of 45 isolates of non-starter lactic acid bacteria from Danish semi-hard cheeses was studied using BioScreen C equipment. Thirty-nine of the isolates were identified as Lactobacillus paracasei/casei/rhamnosus, 2 as Lb. curvatus and 4 as a new species, Lb. danicus, using ITS-PCR. A specially designed carbohydrate-restricted medium supplemented with one of nine carbohydrates was used to evaluate potential carbohydrate sources in cheese-milk-fat globule membrane (MFGM), glycomacropeptide (GMP), or lysed cells. Lb. paracasei strains grew well on the carbohydrates from MFGM, GMP and bacterial cell wall peptidoglycan. The highest growth rates were observed on N-acetylglucosamine (NAG) (0.32-0.56 h-1) and the lowest on ribose (0.12-0.23 h-1, if ribose was fermented at all). Lb. danicus strains grew better on carbohydrates from lysed bacterial cells than on carbohydrates from MFGM or GMP, and it was the only species with a shorter lag-phase on ribose or NAG after being pre-incubated on ribose. © 2005 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
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