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Food Microbiol. 2011 May;28(3):583-9. doi: 10.1016/ Epub 2010 Nov 26.

Impact of ecological factors on the stability of microbial associations in sourdough fermentation.

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Institute of Food Science and Biotechnology, University of Hohenheim, Stuttgart, Germany.


The limits for the stability of the microbial association 1 (Lactobacillus sanfranciscensis and Candida humilis) and association 2 (Lactobacillus reuteri, Lactobacillus johnsonii and Issatchenkia orientalis) during sourdough fermentation were evaluated by investigating the effects of the ecological factors substrate, refreshment time, temperature, amount of backslopping and competing species in different combinations on their growth. Sourdoughs were fermented in 28 batches under different conditions using the associations and possible competing strains as starters. The dominating microbiota was characterized by bacteriological culture, rRNA gene sequence analysis and RAPD-PCR. Association 1 was found to be competitive in doughs with rye and wheat flour at temperatures between 20 and 30 °C, refreshment times of 12 and 24 h, amounts of backslopping dough from 5 to 20% and against all competing lactic acid bacteria and yeasts. The processing parameters for the competitiveness of the association 2 were temperatures of 35-40 °C, refreshment times of 12-24 h and the substrates rye bran, wheat and rye flour, but not in every case. Issatchenkia orientalis could only grow when enough oxygen was available. Its cell counts fell rapidly under the limit of detection when using high amounts of doughs (small ratio of surface to volume) and refreshment times of 12 h. In conclusion, the results demonstrated that the two associations were remarkably stable under most of the investigated process conditions.

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