Biotyping of cultivable lactic acid bacteria isolated from donkey milk


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Abstract

The diversity of lactic acid bacteria (LAB) species in donkey's milk was analysed by culture-dependent microbial techniques. Dominant strains were isolated on agar media generally used for enumerating LAB. To enrich the number of acidifying LAB present, the milk samples were incubated at 37°C for 24 h (cultured milk samples, CM). One of the CM samples was heat-treated at 63°C for 10 min before incubation at 37°C (heat-treated and cultured milk sample, TCM) to select thermophilic LAB. The microflora in these CM and TCM samples was then compared to that of the raw milk samples (RM). Among the 129 LAB isolates, 10 different species (four Enterococcus, five Streptococcus and one Pediococcus) were identified by molecular methods. Although the 10 LAB species were present in the RM samples, only three and two isolates were found in CM and TCM samples, respectively. Despite the selection protocol being set up to favour the isolation of all LAB isolates present in donkey milk, relatively few species and biotypes were isolated. No LAB isolates belonging to the most technologically important dairy starter species were detected. The possible factors related to the limited LAB diversity in donkey's milk have been discussed below.Significance and Impact of the Study:There is increased interest in using donkey's milk as a source of human nutrition. The large amounts of antimicrobial components and defence factors present in donkey's milk provide protection from microbial infections and distinguish donkey's milk from the milks of other mammals. However, the microbiota in donkey's milk has so far been poorly characterized, specifically with regard to the lactic acid bacteria (LAB). This study has identified cultivable, acidifying and thermoduric LAB that could be used to develop starter cultures. This is the first study to investigate the culturable LAB microbiota present in donkey's milk.Significance and Impact of the Study: There is increased interest in using donkey's milk as a source of human nutrition. The large amounts of antimicrobial components and defence factors present in donkey's milk provide protection from microbial infections and distinguish donkey's milk from the milks of other mammals. However, the microbiota in donkey's milk has so far been poorly characterized, specifically with regard to the lactic acid bacteria (LAB). This study has identified cultivable, acidifying and thermoduric LAB that could be used to develop starter cultures. This is the first study to investigate the culturable LAB microbiota present in donkey's milk.

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