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J Appl Microbiol. 2010 Jul;109(1):44-53. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2672.2009.04626.x. Epub 2009 Nov 14.

Halobacterium sp. SP1(1) as a starter culture for accelerating fish sauce fermentation.

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Department of Microbiology and Biotechnology Centre, Faculty of Science, The Maharaja Sayajirao University of Baroda, Vadodara, India.



Application of Halobacterium sp. SP1(1) for the acceleration of fish sauce fermentation.


Traditional fish sauce fermentation was mimicked using Halobacterium sp. SP1(1) as starter culture. Protease activity, peptide release and α-amino content (parameters used to monitor the progress of the fermentation) were high at day 10 in tests and day 20 in un-inoculated controls. The total protein and nitrogen contents were also high in tests compared with controls. The amino acid profile observed at the end of fermentation in experimental samples, when compared with the commercial sauce preparation, was found to be better with respect to flavour and aroma contributing amino acids as well as essential amino acid lysine. Microflora analysis of the final fish sauce revealed the absence of any nonhalophilic or halotolerant micro-organisms. The protease-producing halophilic isolates obtained from the fish sauce of eviscerated and uneviscerated controls were identified as Halobacterium sp. F1 and F2, respectively, by 16S rDNA sequence analysis.


Exogenous augmentation of Halobacterium sp. SP1(1) accelerated the fish sauce fermentation process with an additive effect on the existing natural microflora present in the fish during fermentation. Halobacterium sp SP1(1), therefore, can be used as an important starter culture for accelerating the fish fermentation process, which is attributed to its extracellular protease.


The present study is the first report on use of Halobacterium species as a starter culture for accelerating fish sauce fermentation. Use of halobacterial starter cultures may revolutionize the process in fish sauce industries by reducing the fermentation time and making the process more economical with improved nutritive value of product.

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