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Food Microbiol. 2010 May;27(3):390-5. doi: 10.1016/ Epub 2009 Dec 3.

Propionic acid production by cofermentation of Lactobacillus buchneri and Lactobacillus diolivorans in sourdough.

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Department of Agricultural, Food and Nutritional Science, 4-10 Agriculture Forestry Centre, University of Alberta, Edmonton, AB, Canada.


Cooperative metabolism of lactobacilli in silage fermentation converts lactate to propionate. This study aimed to determine whether propionate production by Lactobacillus buchneri and Lactobacillus diolivorans can be applied for bread preservation. Propionate formation was observed in cofermentation with L. buchneri and L. diolivorans in modified MRS broth as well as sourdough with low, medium and high ash contents. 48 mM of propionate was formed in sourdough with medium ash content, but only 9 and 28 mM propionate were formed in sourdoughs prepared from white wheat flour or whole wheat flour, respectively. Acetate levels were comparable in all three sourdoughs and ranged from 160 to 175 mM. Sourdough fermented with L. buchneri and L. diolivorans was used in breadmaking and its effect on fungal spoilage was compared to traditional sourdough or propionate addition to straight doughs. Bread slices were inoculated with Aspergillus clavatus, Cladosporium spp., Mortierella spp. or Penicillium roquefortii. The use of 20% experimental sourdough inhibited growth of three of the four moulds for more than 12 days. The use of 10% experimental sourdough deferred growth of two moulds by one day. Bread from traditional sourdough with added acetate had less effect in inhibiting mould growth. In conclusion, cofermentation with L. buchneri and L. diolivorans represents a process to increase antifungal capacities of bread.

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