Biological activity ofBifidobacterium longumin response to environmental pH

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The influence of environmental pH on biological activity of Bifidobacterium longum CRL 849 grown in MRS-raffinose was evaluated. At pH 6.0, 5.5 and 5.0, raffinose was completely consumed by this microorganism, showing different consumption rates at each pH value (between 3.03 and 0.76 mmol l-1 h-1). At pH 4.5, the growth was lowest. The removal of raffinose was due to the α-galactosidase (α-gal) activity of this bifidobacteria, which was highest at pH 6.0-5.5 (1,280-1,223 mU ml-1). The production of β-glucosidase (β-glu) showed a similar pattern to α-gal activity with major values. The yield of organic acids produced during raffinose consumption was also highest at pH 6.0-5.5. The results of this study will allow the selection of the optimum growth conditions of B. longum CRL 849, with elevated levels of α-gal to be used in the reduction of nondigestible α-oligosaccharide in soy products and β-glu activities involved in isoflavone conversion to bioactive forms when used as starter culture.

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