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J Food Sci. 2010 Aug 1;75(6):M354-9. doi: 10.1111/j.1750-3841.2010.01671.x.

Inhibition of citrus fungal pathogens by using lactic acid bacteria.

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Centro de Referencia para Lactobacilos, CONICET, Tucumán, Argentina.


The effect of lactic acid bacteria (LAB) on pathogenic fungi was evaluated and the metabolites involved in the antifungal effect were characterized. Penicillium digitatum (INTA 1 to INTA 7) and Geotrichum citri-aurantii (INTA 8) isolated from decayed lemon from commercial packinghouses were treated with imazalil and guazatine to obtain strains resistant to these fungicides. The most resistant strains (4 fungal strains) were selected for evaluating the antifungal activity of 33 LAB strains, among which only 8 strains gave positive results. The antifungal activity of these LAB strains was related to the production of lactic acid, acetic acid, and phenyllactic acid (PLA). A central composite design and the response surface methodology were used to evaluate the inhibitory effect of the organic acids produced by the LAB cultures. The antifungal activity of lactic acid was directly related to its concentration; however, acetic acid and PLA showed a peak of activity at 52.5 and 0.8 mM, respectively, with inhibition rates similar to those obtained with Serenade((R)) (3.0 ppm) imazalil (50 ppm) and guazatine (50 ppm). Beyond the peak of activity, a reduction in effectiveness of both acetic acid and PLA was observed. Comparing the inhibition rate of the organic acids, PLA was about 66- and 600-fold more effective than acetic acid and lactic acid, respectively. This study presents evidences on the antifungal effect of selected LAB strains and their end products. Studies are currently being undertaken to evaluate the effectiveness in preventing postharvest diseases on citrus fruits.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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