Technological properties and probiotic potential ofEnterococcus faeciumstrains isolated from cow milk

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To identify enterococci from the fermentation of milk for the production of nono, an African fermented dairy product, to determine the technological properties for suitability as starter cultures and safety as probiotics.

Methods and Results:

Enterococcus faecium CM4 and Enterococcus faecium 2CM1 were isolated from raw cow's milk. The strains were phenotypically and genotypically identified. Technological properties, safety investigations, in vitro adherence properties and antimicrobial characteristics were carried out. Strong acidification and tolerance to bile salts were recorded. The strains were bile salts hydrolytic positive and no haemolysis. There was no resistance to clinically relevant antibiotics. The strains exhibited adherence to human collagen type IV, human fibrinogen and fibronectin. The bacteriocins were active against Bacillus cereus DSM 2301, Bacillus subtilis ATCC 6633, Micrococcus luteus and Listeria monocytogenes. Bacteriocins were stable at pH 4–9 and on treatment with lipase, catalase, α-amylase and pepsin, while their activity was lost on treatment with other proteases. The bacteriocins produced were heat stable at 100°C for 10 min. The bacteriocin produced by the strains was identified as enterocin A.


The E. faecium strains in this study exhibited probiotic activity, and the safety investigations indicate their suitability as good candidates for a starter culture fermentation process.

Significance and Impact of the Study:

The use of bacteriocin-producing E. faecium strains as starter cultures in fermented foods is beneficial but, however, their safety investigations as probiotics must be greatly emphasized.

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