Characterization of lactic acid bacteria isolated from a Thai low-salt fermented fish product and the role of garlic as substrate for fermentation

Christine Paludan-Müller, Hans Henrik Huss, Lone Gram

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Lactic acid bacteria (LAB) isolated from raw materials (fish, rice, garlic and banana leaves) and processed som-fak (a Thai low-salt fermented fish product) were characterized by API 50- CH and other phenotypic criteria. Lactococcus lactis subsp. lactis and Leuconostoc citreum were specifically associated with fish fillet and minced fish, Lactobacillus paracasei subsp. paracasei with boiled rice and Weisella confusa with garlic mix and banana leaves. In addition, Lactobacillus plantarum, Lactobacillus pentosus and Pediococcus pentosaceus were isolated from raw materials. A succession of aciduric, homofermentative lactobacillus species, dominated by Lb. plantarum/pentosus, was found during fermentation. In total, 9% of the strains fermented starch and 19% fermented garlic, the two main carbohydrate components in som-fak. The ability to ferment garlic was paralleled by a capacity to ferment inulin. An increased percentage of garlic fermenting strains was found during fermentation of som-fak, from 8% at day 1 to 40% at day 5. No starch fermenting strains were isolated during fermentation. Three mixed LAB cultures, composed of either starch fermenting Lc. lactis subsp. lactis and Lb. paracasei subsp. paracasei, or garlic fermenting Lb. plantarum and Pd. pentosaceus, or a combination of these strains were inoculated into laboratory prepared som-fak with or without garlic. In som-fak without garlic, pH was above 4.8 after three days, irrespective of addition of mixed LAB cultures. The starch fermenting LAB were unable to ferment som-fak and sensory spoilage occurred after three days. Fermentation with the combined mix of starch and garlic fermenting strains led to production of 2.5% acid and a decrease in pH to 4.5 in two days. The fermentation was slightly slower with the garlic fermenting strains alone. This is the first report describing the role of garlic as carbohydrate source for LAB in fermented fish products. (C) 1999 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved
Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Journal of Food Microbiology
Issue number3
Pages (from-to)219-229
Publication statusPublished - 1999


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