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Food Microbiol. 2011 Sep;28(6):1129-39. doi: 10.1016/ Epub 2011 Mar 11.

Prevalence and impact of single-strain starter cultures of lactic acid bacteria on metabolite formation in sourdough.

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Research Group of Industrial Microbiology and Food Biotechnology (IMDO), Faculty of Sciences and Bioengineering Sciences, Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Pleinlaan 2, B-1050 Brussels, Belgium.


Flavour of type II sourdoughs is influenced by the ingredients, processing conditions, and starter culture composition. It is, however, not fully clear to what extent different sourdough lactic acid bacteria (LAB) contribute to flavour. Therefore, two types of flour (rye and wheat) and different LAB starter culture strains were used to prepare sourdoughs, thereby leaving the yeast microbiota uncontrolled. All LAB starter culture strains tested were shown to be prevalent and to acidify the flour/water mixture to pH values between 3.1 and 3.9 after 24h of fermentation. Multiple aldehydes, alcohols, ketones, and carboxylic acids were produced by the sourdough-associated microbiota throughout the fermentation period. Based on the organoleptic evaluation of breads produced with these sourdoughs, five LAB strains were selected to perform prolonged wheat and rye fermentations as to their capacity to result in an acidic (Lactobacillus fermentum IMDO 130101, Lactobacillus plantarum IMDO 130201, and Lactobacillus crustorum LMG 23699), buttermilk-like (Lactobacillus amylovorus DCE 471), or fruity flavour (Lactobacillus sakei CG1). Upon prolonged fermentation, higher metabolite concentrations were produced. For instance, L. sakei CG1 produced the highest amounts of 3-methyl-1-butanol, which was further converted into 3-methylbutyl acetate. The latter compound resulted in a fruity banana flavour after 48h of fermentation, probably due to yeast interference. Rye fermentations resulted in sourdoughs richer in volatiles than wheat, including 3-methyl-1-butanol, 2-phenylethanol, and ethyl acetate.

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