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J Dairy Sci. 1996 Jun;79(6):943-55.

Performance of commercial cultures in fluid milk applications.

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Dairy and Food Culture Technologies, Littleton, CO 80122, USA.


Six Lactobacillus acidophilus, 5 Bifidobacterium, and 6 Streptococcus thermophilus strains were studied for characteristics that are important to activity and stability in unfermented fluid milk products. Speciation, strain relatedness, frozen concentrate stability, bile sensitivity, and lactase activity were evaluated. The microbiological stability of a culture-containing fluid milk product was also determined. Two of the bifidobacteria cultures contained > 1 strain. Some strains were shown to be closely related or identical by pulsed-field gel electrophoresis of fragmented chromosomal DNA. Selective media that distinguished among all 3 added genera were identified. All lactobacilli and most of the bifidobacteria were resistant to bile concentrations varying from 1 to 3%, and all streptococci were sensitive to bile. Lactase activities were highest for S. thermophilus strains, supporting use of this species in fluid milk and dairy products to aid in the digestion of lactose by consumers. The experimental product evaluated in this study contained 10(7) cfu/ml of both L. Acidophilus and Bifidobacterium spp. and 5 x 10(7) cfu/ml of S. thermophilus. Lactic, but not psychrotrophic, populations were fairly stable during storage. The results suggest that milk formulated with high concentrations of three different genera of probiotic bacteria can be manufactured with commercial strains.

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