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Int J Food Microbiol. 2011 Sep 1;149(1):28-36. doi: 10.1016/j.ijfoodmicro.2010.10.036. Epub 2010 Nov 4.

Characterization and in vitro properties of potentially probiotic Bifidobacterium strains isolated from breast-milk.

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Departamento de Microbiología y Bioquímica de Productos Lácteos, Instituto de Productos Lácteos de Asturias (IPLA), Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas (CSIC), 33300 Villaviciosa, Asturias, Spain.


Most of the current commercial probiotic strains have not been selected for specific applications, but rather on the basis of their technological potential for use in diverse applications. Therefore, by selecting them from appropriate sources, depending on the target population, it is likely that better performing strains may be identified. Few strains have been specifically selected for human neonates, where the applications of probiotics may have a great positive impact. Breast-milk constitutes an interesting source of potentially probiotic bifidobacteria for inclusion in infant formulas and foods targeted to both pre-term and full-term infants. In this study six Bifidobacterium strains isolated from breast-milk were phenotypically and genotypically characterised according to international guidelines for probiotics. In addition, different in vitro tests were used to assess the safety and probiotic potential of the strains. Although clinical data would be needed before drawing any conclusion on the probiotic properties of the strains, our results indicate that some of them may have probiotic potential for their inclusion in products targeting infants.

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