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Foods. 2020 Mar 18;9(3). pii: E350. doi: 10.3390/foods9030350.

Arthrospira platensis as Natural Fermentation Booster for Milk and Soy Fermented Beverages.

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Department of Food and Drug, University of Parma, 43124 Parma, Italy.


Arthrospira platensis, commercially known as Spirulina, is a fresh-water cyanobacterium that has been gaining increasing attention in recent years due to its high biological and nutritional value. For this reason, it has been employed in several food applications, to obtain or enhance functional and technological properties of cheese, yogurt, bread, cookies or pasta. The aim of this work was to evaluate the potential boosting effect of two different concentrations (0.25% and 0.50% w/v) of A. platensis on the fermentation capability of several starter lactic acid bacteria (LAB) strains, 1 probiotic and 4 commercial mix culture. These strains were used to ferment three different substrates and their fermentation behaviors were evaluated by impedance analyses together with rheological and color measurements. In tryptic soy broth (TSB), the A. platensis boosting effect was significantly higher if compared to yeast extract for all the starter LAB strains except for Lb. casei, which was equally stimulated. Different results were found when the same LAB strains were cultivated in SSM. The most evident boosting effect was found for S. thermophilus and Lb. casei. LAB growth was promoted by A. platensis, confirming that it could be a useful tool in the production of novel functional fermented dairy foods. The potential boosting effect was evaluated on four commercial mix cultures used to produce milk and soy fermented beverages. It was demonstrated that the booster effect took place, but it was variable and dependent not only on the mix culture used, but also on the substrate and A. platensis concentration. Also, rheological and color modifications were found to be dependent on these factors.


A. platensis; SLAB; boosting effect; commercial starter cultures; impedance analysis; natural food additives; rheological analysis

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