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J Food Sci. 2011 Oct;76(8):M568-72. doi: 10.1111/j.1750-3841.2011.02369.x.

Rapid and accurate bacterial identification in probiotics and yoghurts by MALDI-TOF mass spectrometry.

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1
CNRS UMR 6020, IFR 48, Faculté de Médecine, Univ. de la Méditerranée, 27 Bd Jean Moulin, 13385 Marseille Cedex 05, France.

Abstract

Probiotic food is manufactured by adding probiotic strains simultaneously with starter cultures in fermentation tanks. Here, we investigate the accuracy and feasibility of matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionisation time-of-flight mass spectrometry (MALDI-TOF MS) for bacterial identification at the species level in probiotic food and yoghurts. Probiotic food and yoghurts were cultured in Columbia and Lactobacillus specific agar and tested by quantitative real-time PCR (qPCR) for the detection and quantification of Lactobacillus sp. Bacterial identification was performed by MALDI-TOF analysis and by amplification and sequencing of tuf and 16S rDNA genes. We tested 13 probiotic food and yoghurts and we identified by qPCR that they presented 10(6) to 10(7) copies of Lactobacillus spp. DNA/g. All products contained very large numbers of living bacteria varying from 10(6) to 10(9) colony forming units/g. These bacteria were identified as Lactobacillus casei, Lactococcus lactis, Bifidobacterium animalis, Lactobacillus delbrueckii, and Streptococcus thermophilus. MALDI-TOF MS presented 92% specificity compared to the molecular assays. In one product we found L. lactis, instead of Bifidus spp. which was mentioned on the label and for another L. delbrueckii and S. thermophilus instead of Bifidus spp. MALDI-TOF MS allows a rapid and accurate bacterial identification at the species level in probiotic food and yoghurts. Although the safety and functionality of probiotics are species and strain dependent, we found a discrepancy between the bacterial strain announced on the label and the strain identified. Practical Application:  MALDI-TOF MS is rapid and specific for the identification of bacteria in probiotic food and yoghurts. Although the safety and functionality of probiotics are species and strain dependent, we found a discrepancy between the bacterial strain announced on the label and the strain identified.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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