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Food Microbiol. 2010 Dec;27(8):1000-8. doi: 10.1016/ Epub 2010 Jun 25.

Lactic acid bacteria community dynamics and metabolite production of rye sourdough fermentations share characteristics of wheat and spelt sourdough fermentations.

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Research Group of Industrial Microbiology and Food Biotechnology (IMDO), Faculty of Sciences and Bio-engineering Sciences, Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Brussels, Belgium.


Four spontaneous rye sourdough fermentations were performed over a period of ten days with daily back-slopping. Samples taken at all refreshment steps were used for culture-dependent and culture-independent characterization of the microbiota present. Furthermore, an extensive metabolite target analysis was performed through a combination of various chromatographic methods, including liquid chromatography coupled to mass spectrometry (LC/MS) and gas chromatography coupled to mass spectrometry (GC/MS). Spearman's rank correlation coefficients were calculated and a principal component analysis (PCA) was performed on the data obtained in this study combined with data obtained previously for wheat and spelt sourdoughs. In general, the establishment of a stable microbial ecosystem occurred through a three-phase evolution, with mainly Lactobacillus plantarum and Lactobacillus fermentum dominating the rye sourdough ecosystems. PCA revealed that ornithine and mannitol were positively correlated with rye sourdoughs, contributing to bacterial competitiveness at the onset of sourdough production. Wheat and spelt sourdoughs showed a high degree of similarity, although certain compounds (e.g. indolelactic acid) appeared to be specific for spelt sourdoughs. The production of amino acid metabolites, mainly hydroxy acids (e.g. phenyllactic acid) and alcohols (e.g. 3-methyl-1-butanol), contributed to the equilibration of the redox balance and further enhanced the competitiveness of dominant species in stable sourdoughs.

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