Author(s): Looijesteijn PJ, Trapet L, de Vries E, Abee T, Hugenholtz J
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Abstract The physiological function of EPS produced by Lactococcus lactis was studied by comparing the tolerance of the non-EPS producing strain L. lactis ssp. cremoris MG1614 and an EPS producing isogenic variant of this strain to several anti-microbial factors. There was no difference in the sensitivity of the strains to increased temperatures, freezing or freeze-drying and the antibiotics, penicillin and vancomycin. A model system showed that EPS production did not affect the survival of L. lactis during passage through the gastrointestinal tract although the EPS itself was not degraded during this passage. The presence of cell associated EPS and EPS in suspension resulted in an increased tolerance to copper and nisin. Furthermore, cell associated EPS also protected the bacteria against bacteriophages and the cell wall degrading enzyme lysozyme. However, it has not been possible, so far, to increase EPS production using the presence of copper, nisin, lysozyme or bacteriophages as inducing factors.
This article was published in Int J Food Microbiol
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