Isolation and identification of exopolysaccharide producer lactic acid bacteria from Turkish yogurt
Lactic acid bacteria (LAB) were isolated from traditional yogurt samples and genotypic characterization of these isolates revealed the presence of 21 distinct LAB strains belonging to Lactobacillus delbrueckii subsp. bulgaricus, Streptococcus thermophilus, Leuconostoc mesenteroides, and Lactobacillus plantarum as new LAB strains. Determination of the exopolysaccharide (EPS) production characteristics of the selected strains of each species revealed that all strains possessed at least one gene required for both homopolymeric- and heteropolymeric-type EPS production. Structural analysis of the EPSs showed that L. delbrueckii subsp. bulgaricus Y39 and S. thermophilus Y102 produced heteropolymeric EPS containing glucose and galactose, whereas Leuc. mesenteroides Y35 and L. plantarum Y36 produced homopolymeric glucan-type EPS. The level of EPS production in these strains was found to be in a similar range. These strains with EPS production characteristics are good candidates for future studies as new LAB for yogurt production. Practical applications: Recent trends in yogurt production technology have led to an increased use of ropy starter cultures in yogurt production due to the technological roles of exopolysacharides (EPS) produced by these cultures. The main role of EPS in yogurt production is to improve the textural properties of yogurt as an in situ produced natural polymer. In addition to the yogurt starter cultures, use of adjunct cultures during production of yogurt is also of special interest to enhance the technological and nutritional characteristics of yogurt. Therefore, in this study, potential yogurt starter and adjunct cultures from traditional yogurt samples with EPS production characteristics were isolated. From these isolates, Lactobacillus delbrueckii subsp. bulgaricus Y39 and Streptococcus thermophilus Y102 produced heteropolymeric EPS containing glucose and galactose, whereas Leuconostoc mesenteroides Y35 and Lactobacillus plantarum Y36 produced homopolymeric glucan. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.