Scientific breakthrough in dairy bioprotection

Date 04.16.2020 | Category: News
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For the first time, the main mechanism of lactic acid bacteria with bioprotective effect against yeasts and molds in dairy products has been revealed: It’s all about competition for a specific nutrient (manganese).

While the popularity of food cultures that can help improve quality and shelf life has increased non-stop over the past years, Chr. Hansen scientists are the first to reveal the mechanism that can explain the main part of the inhibitory effect against yeast and mold spoilage organisms. The findings on the mode of action are documented in a new scientific article featured in the prestigious Applied and Environmental Microbiology Journal.

With the increasing use of natural lactic acid bacteria, or good bacteria, such as Chr. Hansen’s FreshQ® food cultures, there has been increasing interest in understanding the underlying mechanisms used by certain lactic acid bacteria to delay the growth of spoilage organisms. So far, most scientific activities have focused on trying to identify antimicrobial compounds produced by the food cultures, but without being able to identify any compounds that could explain a considerable part of the effect. Therefore, it became apparent that other mechanisms play a major role, but the specific mechanism had not been proven. Until now.


Competition for a specific nutrient

“What we have discovered and proved is the ability of our good bacteria in the FreshQ® cultures to absorb a nutrient in fermented milk that yeast and mold need to grow. This nutrient is called manganese. Through a ‘transporter’ in the bacterial strains the nutrient is removed from the food matrix, preventing the unwanted contaminants to feed on it,” says Rute Neves, director in Bacterial Physiology, Research & Development, Chr. Hansen and affiliated professor at DTU (Technical University of Denmark), Bioengineering.

Starting in-house, the Chr. Hansen scientists identified in the strains the transporter that absorbs manganese in a specific dairy food matrix. In cooperation with North Carolina State University in the US, the mechanism was proven at genetic level.


Source: Chr. Hansen
Author: Sossna
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