Nonstarter lactobacilli isolated from soft and semihard Argentinean cheeses: genetic characterization and resistance to biological barriers.J Food Prot. 2006 Dec; 69(12):2983-91.JF
Nonstarter lactic acid bacteria isolated from Argentinean cheeses were identified and characterized by focusing on their resistance to biological barriers, along with other physiological features of potential interest, in the search for future probiotic organisms. Lactobacilli were enumerated and isolated from semihard and soft cheeses made with multistrain Streptococcus thermophilus starters. Lactobacilli counts in 1-week-old cheeses were between 10(5) and 10(7) CFU/g and then reached 10(7) CFU/ g in all 1-month samples, while streptococci were always above 10(9) CFU/g. A total number of 22 lactobacilli isolates were retained, identified, and characterized by in vitro tests. Species identity was determined by carbohydrate metabolism and species-specific PCR assays. Genetic diversity was explored by random amplified polymorphic DNA (RAPD) PCR analysis. The Lactobacillus strains were assigned to the species L. casei, L. plantarum, L. rhamnosus, L. curvatus, L. fermentum, and L. perolens. All the strains studied tolerated 25 ppm of lysozyme, and most of them showed resistance to 0.3% bile. After incubation in gastric solution (pH 2.0), counts decreased by several log units, ranging from 3.2 to 7.0. The strains were able to grow in the presence of bile salts, but only three isolates were capable of deconjugation. The nonstarter lactobacilli that were assayed fermented the prebiotic substrates (especially lactulose and inulin). Some strains showed high cell hydrophobicity and beta-galactosidase activity, as well as inhibitory activity against pathogenic bacteria. It was concluded that most of the lactobacilli isolated in this study demonstrated resistance to biological barriers and physiological characteristics compatible with probiotic properties, which make them suitable for further research in in vivo studies aimed at identifying new probiotic organisms.