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Appl Environ Microbiol. 1992 May;58(5):1484-9.

Novel paired starter culture system for sauerkraut, consisting of a nisin-resistant Leuconostoc mesenteroides strain and a nisin-producing Lactococcus lactis strain.

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  • 1Food Fermentation Laboratory, Agricultural Research Service, Raleigh, North Carolina.


Nisin-resistant Leuconostoc mesenteroides NCK293 and nisin-producing Lactococcus lactis subsp. lactis NCK401 were evaluated separately and in combination for growth and nisin production in a model sauerkraut fermentation. Strains were genetically marked and selectively enumerated by using antibiotic-containing media. The growth and survival of L. mesenteroides were similar in the presence and absence of Lactococcus lactis subsp. lactis. The growth of Lactococcus lactis subsp. lactis was not inhibited, although the maximum cell density was reduced and the population decline was more pronounced in the presence of L. mesenteroides. Nisin was detected within 24 h, and levels were relatively constant over the 12-day test period. The maximum cell populations and nisin level achieved could be altered by changing the initial cell ratios of L. mesenteroides and lactococcus lactis subsp. lactis. Isogenic nisin-producing and nisin-negative Lactococcus lactis subsp. lactis derivatives were used in combination with nisin-resistant L. mesenteroides to demonstrate that nisin levels produced in mixed culture were sufficient to retard the onset of the growth of nisin-sensitive, homofermentative Lactobacillus plantarum ATCC 14917.

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