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Int J Food Microbiol. 1999 Dec 15;53(2-3):169-84.

Degradation of cyanogenic glycosides by Lactobacillus plantarum strains from spontaneous cassava fermentation and other microorganisms.

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  • 1Department of Dairy and Food Science, Royal Veterinary and Agricultural University, Frederiksberg C, Copenhagen, Denmark.


Strains of Lactobacillus plantarum, Leuconostoc mesenteroides, Candida tropicalis and Penicillium sclerotiorum were screened for 19 enzymatic activities using the commercial kit API zym (Bio Mérieux). This activity was compared to the ability of degrading the toxic cyanogenic glycosides amygdalin, linamarin, and linseed cyanogens (a mixture of linustatin and neolinustatin). Good correlation between the beta-glucosidase activity found in the API zym screening and the ability to degrade the cyanogenic glycosides was found for the first three species mentioned. P. sclerotiorum strains exhibited very high activity in the API zym test (substrate: 6-Br-2-naphthyl-beta-D-glucopyranoside), but proved unable to degrade any of the cyanogenic substrates. Among the seven strains of L. plantarum tested, a great variation was seen in the beta-glucosidase activity as well as in the ability to degrade the cyanogens. This was also the case for the strains of C. tropicalis. However, all the glucosidase positive strains of these species were also able to degrade all of the cyanogens tested and at approximately the same rate. A co-culture of the most active strain of L. plantarum and C. tropicalis seemed to degrade linamarin faster than the mono cultures. L. plantarum LPI (originally isolated from fermented cassava) was investigated in further detail. The hydrolytic activity of this strain was intracellular or cell bound, and beta-bis-glycosides such as amygdalin were hydrolysed by a two-stage sequential mechanism as follows: (1) amygdalin to prunasin and (2) prunasin to cyanohydrin. Finally, inoculation of extracted linseed meal (containing linustatin and neolinustatin) with L. plantarum LPI resulted in hydrolysis of the glycosides.

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