Surfactins in Natto: The Surfactin Production Capacity of the Starter Strains and the Actual Surfactin Contents in the Products

Mari Juola, Kristiina Kinnunen, Kristian Fog Nielsen, Atte von Wright

    Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

    Abstract

    Surfactin-type lipopeptides are suspected of being implicated in the rare food poisonings caused by Bacillus species outside the Bacillus cereus cluster. In order to get information on surfactin levels in actual human foods, bacilli from three commercial samples of a Japanese traditional bean product, natto, were isolated in order to clarify their potential to produce the suspect lipopeptides. The isolated bacilli were characterized as Bacillus subtilis. They were b-hemolytic and gave a positive signal in the PCR screen for genes associated with surfactin production, and their culture extracts were cytotoxic to boar sperm cells. Organic
    extracts of both Bacillus cultures and the natto samples were analyzed for their surfactin content using ultrahigh-performance liquid chromatography with high-resolution mass spectrometry. All the strains proved to be surfactin producers (15 to 39 mg/ml culture medium); the natto samples contained as much as 2.2 mg g21 of surfactins. This means that consumers can ingest at least
    approximately 80 to 100 mg of surfactins per single 50-g natto serving apparently without suffering any ill effects, indicating a very low human toxicity.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalJournal of Food Protection
    Volume77
    Issue number12
    Pages (from-to)2139-2143
    ISSN0362-028X
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2014

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