Folate Production by Lactic Acid Bacteria and other food-grade microorganisms

  • Jean Guy LeBlanc, Graciela Savoy de Giori, Eddy J. Smid, Jeroen Hugenholtz F
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Folate, an important B-group vitamin, participates in many metabolic pathways such as DNA and RNA biosynthesis and amino acid inter-conversions. Mammalian cells cannot synthesize folate; therefore, an exogenous supply of this vitamin is necessary to prevent nutritional deficiency. Many reviews have shown the health benefits associated with increased folate intakes and by consequence many countries now possess mandatory folate enrichment programs. Lately, a number of studies have shown that high intakes of folic acid, the chemically synthesized form of folate, but not natural folates, can cause adverse affects in some individuals such as the masking of the hematological manifestations of vitamin B12 deficiency. For these reasons, many researchers have been looking for novel methods to increase concentrations of naturally occurring folate variants in foods. This review will focus on folate production by lactic acid bacteria and levels of folate present in foods fermented by/or containing these valuable microorganisms. The proper selection and use of folate producing microorganisms is an interesting strategy to increase “natural” folate levels in foods.

Author-supplied keywords

  • fermented foods
  • folate
  • lactic acid bacteria
  • vitamin

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  • Fernando Sesma Jean Guy LeBlanc, Graciela Savoy de Giori, Eddy J. Smid, Jeroen Hugenholtz

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