Lactic acid bacteria: their antimicrobial compounds and their uses in food production
By P. Rattanachaikunsopon and P. Phumkhachorn
Lactic acid bacteria are a group of gram-positive, non-spore forming, cocci or rods, which produce lactic acid as the major end product during the fermentation of carbohydrates. They consisted of many genus including Aerococcus, Carnobacterium, Enterococcus, Lactobacillus, Lactococcus, Leuconostoc, Pediococcus, Streptococcus, Tetragenococcus, Vagococcus, and Weissella. Lactic acid bacteria have been used in the production of foods, especially fermented foods because they can produce several compounds that contribute to taste, smell, color, and texture of the foods. In addition, they can produce antimicrobial substances including bacteriocins that have ability to inhibit pathogenic and food spoilage bacteria. This review begins with some important characteristics of lactic acid bacteria and their uses in foods. Then, it focuses on the antimicrobial substances produced by lactic acid bacteria, especially bacteriocins. Last but not least, the use of these bacteria as starter cultures in food fermentation is described.
Keywords: Lactic acid bacteria, bacteriocin, starter culture
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