May 11, 1999

Heteropolysaccharides from lactic acid bacteria

FEMS Microbiology Reviews
L De Vuyst, B Degeest

Abstract

Microbial exopolysaccharides are biothickeners that can be added to a wide variety of food products, where they serve as viscosifying, stabilizing, emulsifying or gelling agents. Numerous exopolysaccharides with different composition, size and structure are synthesized by lactic acid bacteria. The heteropolysaccharides from both mesophilic and thermophilic lactic acid bacteria have received renewed interest recently. Structural analysis combined with rheological studies revealed that there is considerable variation among the different exopolysaccharides; some of them exhibit remarkable thickening and shear-thinning properties and display high intrinsic viscosities. Hence, several slime-producing lactic acid bacterium strains and their biopolymers have interesting functional and technological properties, which may be exploited towards different products, in particular, natural fermented milks. However, information on the biosynthesis, molecular organization and fermentation conditions is rather scarce, and the kinetics of exopolysaccharide formation are poorly described. Moreover, the production of exopolysaccharides is low and often unstable, and their downstream processing is difficult. This review particularly deals with micr...Continue Reading

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Mentioned in this Paper

Food Sciences
Lactic ACID bacteria
Biopolymers
Lactic Acid Measurement
Viscosity
Genes, Bacterial
Microbial
Fermentation
Physiological Aspects
Lactobacillus

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