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Appl Environ Microbiol. 2013 Mar;79(6):1866-73. doi: 10.1128/AEM.03784-12. Epub 2013 Jan 11.

Antifungal hydroxy fatty acids produced during sourdough fermentation: microbial and enzymatic pathways, and antifungal activity in bread.

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Department of Agricultural, Food and Nutritional Science, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.


Lactobacilli convert linoleic acid to hydroxy fatty acids; however, this conversion has not been demonstrated in food fermentations and it remains unknown whether hydroxy fatty acids produced by lactobacilli have antifungal activity. This study aimed to determine whether lactobacilli convert linoleic acid to metabolites with antifungal activity and to assess whether this conversion can be employed to delay fungal growth on bread. Aqueous and organic extracts from seven strains of lactobacilli grown in modified De Man Rogosa Sharpe medium or sourdough were assayed for antifungal activity. Lactobacillus hammesii exhibited increased antifungal activity upon the addition of linoleic acid as a substrate. Bioassay-guided fractionation attributed the antifungal activity of L. hammesii to a monohydroxy C(18:1) fatty acid. Comparison of its antifungal activity to those of other hydroxy fatty acids revealed that the monohydroxy fraction from L. hammesii and coriolic (13-hydroxy-9,11-octadecadienoic) acid were the most active, with MICs of 0.1 to 0.7 g liter(-1). Ricinoleic (12-hydroxy-9-octadecenoic) acid was active at a MIC of 2.4 g liter(-1). L. hammesii accumulated the monohydroxy C(18:1) fatty acid in sourdough to a concentration of 0.73 ± 0.03 g liter(-1) (mean ± standard deviation). Generation of hydroxy fatty acids in sourdough also occurred through enzymatic oxidation of linoleic acid to coriolic acid. The use of 20% sourdough fermented with L. hammesii or the use of 0.15% coriolic acid in bread making increased the mold-free shelf life by 2 to 3 days or from 2 to more than 6 days, respectively. In conclusion, L. hammesii converts linoleic acid in sourdough and the resulting monohydroxy octadecenoic acid exerts antifungal activity in bread.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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