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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2019

Impact of the fermentation parameters pH and temperature on stress resilience of Lactobacillus reuteri DSM 17938

Hernandez, Armando; Larsson, Christer U.; Sawicki, Radoslaw; van Niel, Ed W. J.; Roos, Stefan; Hakansson, Sebastian


This study was undertaken to investigate the impact of culture pH (4.5-6.5) and temperature (32-37 degrees C) on the stress resilience of Lactobacillus reuteri DSM 17938 during freeze-drying and post freeze-drying exposure to low pH (pH 2) and bile salts. Response-surface methodology analysis revealed that freeze-drying survival rates Ncells after drying Ncells before drying 100 were linearly related to pH with the highest survival rate of 80% when cells were cultured at pH 6.5 and the lowest was 40% when cells were cultured at pH 4.5. The analysis further revealed that within the chosen temperature range the culture temperature did not significantly affect the freeze-drying survival rate. However, fermentation at pH 4.5 led to better survival rates when rehydrated cells were exposed to low pH shock or bile salts. Thus, the effect of pH on freeze-drying survival was in contrast to effects on low pH and bile salts stress tolerance. The rationale behind this irreconcilability is based on the responses being dissimilar and are not tuned to each other. Culturing strain DSM 17938 at pH values higher than 5.5 could be a useful option to improve the survivability and increase viable cell numbers in the final freeze-dried product. However, the dissimilar responses for the process-and application parameters tested here suggest that an optimal compromise has to be found in order to obtain the most functional probiotic product possible.


Probiotics; Fermentation technologies; Lactobacillus reuteri DSM 17938; Freeze-drying; Bile salt; Survivability

Published in

AMB Express
2019, Volume: 9, article number: 66