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Food Microbiol. 2010 Oct;27(7):897-908. doi: 10.1016/ Epub 2010 Jun 1.

Robustness of Lactobacillus plantarum starters during daily propagation of wheat flour sourdough type I.

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Dipartimento di Protezione delle Piante e Microbiologia Applicata, Università degli Studi di Bari, via Amendola 165/a, 70126 Bari, Italy.


This study aimed at investigating the robustness of selected sourdough strains of Lactobacillus plantarum. Seven strains were singly used as sourdough type I starters under daily back-slopping propagation (ten days) using wheat flour. Cell numbers of presumptive lactic acid bacteria varied slightly (median values of 9.13-9.46 log cfu g(-1)) between and within started sourdoughs, as well as the acidifying activity (median values of 1.24-1.33). After three days also the control sourdough (unstarted) had the same values. As shown by RAPD-PCR analysis, five (DB200, 3DM, G10C3, 12H1 and LP20) out of seven strains maintained elevated cell numbers (ca. 9 log cfu g(-1)) throughout ten days. The other two strains progressively decreased to less than 5 log cfu g(-1). As identified by partial sequencing of 16S rRNA and recA genes, L. plantarum (11 isolates), pediococci (7), Lactobacillus casei (3) and Lactobacillus rossiae (2) dominated the flour microbiota. Monitoring of lactic acid bacteria during sourdough propagation was carried out by culture dependent approach and using PCR-DGGE (Denaturing Gradient Gel Electrophoresis). Except for the sourdough started with L. plantarum LP20, in all other sourdoughs at least one autochthonous strain of L. plantarum emerged. All emerging strains of L. plantarum showed different RAPD-PCR profiles. L. rossiae and Pediococcus pentosaceus were only found in the control and sourdough started with strain 12H1. The characterization of the catabolic profiles of sourdoughs (Biolog System) showed that sourdoughs containing persistent starters behaved similarly and their profiles were clearly differentiated from the others. One persistent strain (DB200) of L. plantarum and Lactobacillus sanfranciscensis LS44, previously shown to be persistent (Siragusa et al., 2009), were used as the mixed starter to produce a wheat flour sourdough. Both strains cohabited and dominated during ten days of propagation.

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