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Int J Food Microbiol. 2007 Feb 28;114(1):30-5. Epub 2006 Dec 20.

Rapid removal of lead and cadmium from water by specific lactic acid bacteria.

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University of Turku, Department of Biochemistry and Food Chemistry, 20014 Turku, Finland.


Cadmium and lead are highly toxic metals. People are exposed to them primarily through food and water. Available conventional methods (precipitation, flocculation, ion exchange, and membrane filtration) for removal of these metals from water at low concentrations are claimed to be expensive and inefficient. Different microbes have been proposed to be an efficient and economical alternative in heavy metal removal from water. In this work, specific lactic acid bacteria (LAB) were assessed for their ability to remove cadmium and lead from water. Significant removal was observed, and it was found to be metal and bacterial strain specific. Removal was a fast, metabolism-independent surface process. It was also strongly influenced by pH, indicating that ion exchange mechanisms could be involved. The most effective metal removers were Bifidobacterium longum 46, Lactobacillus fermentum ME3 and Bifidobacterium lactis Bb12. The highest maximum cadmium and lead removal capacities of 54.7 mg metal/g and 175.7 mg/g dry biomass, respectively, were obtained with B. longum 46.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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