Aims: To characterize Lactobacillus strains with EPS-producing ability compared with non-EPS-producing lactobacilli of the same species for technological performance including simulated gastrointestinal tract (GIT) conditions.
Methods and Results: Characterization of EPS-producing Lactobacillus mucosae DPC 6426 in detail based on 16S rRNA sequencing, and EPS production using scanning electron and atomic force microscopy. The EPS was found to consist of mannosyl residues, with mannose, glucose and galactose found to be the major sugar residues present in an approximate ratio of 3: 2: 2. The strain was compared to non-EPS-producing Lact. mucosae DPC 6420 following exposure to salt, bile, acid and heat stresses. Lact. mucosae DPC 6426 exhibited twofold increased (P < 0.05) survival during 120-min exposure to 5 mol NaCl, threefold increased survival during 90-min exposure to 0.7% (w/v) bile (P < 0.05), threefold increased survival when exposed to simulated gastric juice (P < 0.001) for 10 min and fivefold increased survival during 60-min exposure to HCl (P < 0.01) compared with Lact. mucosae DPC 6420. Furthermore, Lact. mucosae DPC 6426 was found to be more heat tolerant (P < 0.001) compared with Lact. mucosae DPC 6420 during 30-min exposure to 55 degrees C.
Conclusions: These data indicate that the EPS-producing Lact. mucosae DPC 6426 exhibits technological and biological robustness compared with a non-EPS-producing Lact. mucosae strain.
Significance and Impact of the Study: The data implicate the potential suitability of EPS-producing Lact. mucosae DPC 6426 in food applications and/or as a probiotic culture.