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Int J Food Microbiol. 2009 Jun 30;132(2-3):79-90. doi: 10.1016/j.ijfoodmicro.2009.03.025. Epub 2009 Apr 5.

Food phenolics and lactic acid bacteria.

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1
Departamento de Microbiología, Instituto de Fermentaciones Industriales, CSIC, Juan de la Cierva 3, 28006 Madrid, Spain.

Abstract

Phenolic compounds are important constituents of food products of plant origin. These compounds are directly related to sensory characteristics of foods such as flavour, astringency, and colour. In addition, the presence of phenolic compounds on the diet is beneficial to health due to their chemopreventive activities against carcinogenesis and mutagenesis, mainly due to their antioxidant activities. Lactic acid bacteria (LAB) are autochthonous microbiota of raw vegetables. To get desirable properties on fermented plant-derived food products, LAB has to be adapted to the characteristics of the plant raw materials where phenolic compounds are abundant. Lactobacillus plantarum is the commercial starter most frequently used in the fermentation of food products of plant origin. However, scarce information is still available on the influence of phenolic compounds on the growth and viability of L. plantarum and other LAB species. Moreover, metabolic pathways of biosynthesis or degradation of phenolic compounds in LAB have not been completely described. Results obtained in L. plantarum showed that L. plantarum was able to degrade some food phenolic compounds giving compounds influencing food aroma as well as compounds presenting increased antioxidant activity. Recently, several L. plantarum proteins involved in the metabolism of phenolic compounds have been genetically and biochemically characterized. The aim of this review is to give a complete and updated overview of the current knowledge among LAB and food phenolics interaction, which could facilitate the possible application of selected bacteria or their enzymes in the elaboration of food products with improved characteristics.

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