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J Appl Microbiol. 2008 Jul;105(1):1-13. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2672.2008.03744.x. Epub 2008 Feb 6.

Inactivation mechanisms of lactic acid starter cultures preserved by drying processes.

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1
Food Process Engineering and Dairy Technology, Technische Universit√§t M√ľnchen, Weihenstephaner Berg 1, Freising-Weihenstephan, Germany. santivar@wzw.tum.de

Abstract

The preservation of lactic acid starter cultures by drying are of increased interest. A further improvement of cell viability is, however, still needed, and the insight into inactivation mechanisms of the cells is a prerequisite. In this present work, we review the inactivation mechanisms of lactic acid starter cultures during drying which are not yet completely understood. Inactivation is not only induced by dehydration inactivation but also by thermal- and cryo-injuries depending on the drying processes employed. The cell membrane has been reported as a major site of damage during drying or rehydration where transitions of membrane phases occur. Some drying processes, such as freeze drying or spray drying, involve subzero or very high temperatures. These physical conditions pose additional stresses to cells during the drying processes. Injuries of cells subjected to freezing temperatures may be due to the high electrolyte concentration (solution effect) or intracellular ice formation, depending on the cooling rate. High temperatures affect most essential cellular components. It is difficult to identify a critical component, although ribosomal functionality is speculated as the primary reason. The activation during storage is mainly due to membrane lipid oxidation, while the storage conditions such as temperature moisture content of the dried starter cultures are important factors.

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