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J Appl Microbiol. 2006 Apr;100(4):846-53.

Carbohydrate preference, acid tolerance and bile tolerance in five strains of Bifidobacterium.

Author information

1
Food Microbial Sciences Unit, School of Food Biosciences, The University of Reading, Whiteknights, Reading, UK.

Abstract

AIMS:

To assess the suitability of bifidobacteria for inclusion in synbiotic products on the basis of carbohydrate preference, acid and bile tolerance.

METHODS AND RESULTS:

Five strains of Bifidobacterium were analysed for their carbohydrate preference from 12 substrates. Maximum growth rates were used to compare substrate preferences. Galacto-oligosaccharides and isomalto-oligosaccharides were well utilized by all the test species. Most bacteria tested could also utilize at least one type of fructan molecule. To determine transit tolerance of potentially probiotic bifidobacteria, acid and bile resistance was tested. A wide range acid resistance was found. Bile tolerance also varied.

CONCLUSIONS:

GOS and IMO were generally well utilized by the tested species. Other substrates were used to different degrees by the different species. Most bifidobacteria are poorly resistant to strongly acidic conditions with the exception of Bifidobacterium lactis Bb12. Bile tolerances were widely variable and it was shown that caution should be exercised when using colorimetric methods to assess bile tolerance.

SIGNIFICANCE AND IMPACT OF STUDY:

The study allows the comparison of the properties of bifidobacteria, allowing a cost effective screen for the best species for use in synbiotic products to allow better survival and efficacy.

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