Exploration of Lactiplantibacillus fabifermentans and Furfurilactobacillus rossiae as potential cocoa fermentation starters

J Appl Microbiol. 2022 Jun 25. doi: 10.1111/jam.15687. Online ahead of print.


AIMS: To investigate the characteristics of two minority autochthonous LAB species, with particular regard to those properties that could be exploited in an improved cocoa fermentation process from a quality and safety point of view.

METHODS AND RESULTS: Bacterial, yeast and mould strains characteristic of spontaneously fermented Dominican cocoa beans were isolated and identified by 16S or 26S rRNA gene sequencing. The potential of two autochthonous strains of LAB belonging to the species Lactiplantibacillus fabifermentans and Furfurilactibacillus rossiae were investigated. The two selected LAB strains were able to utilize glucose and fructose, produced mainly D-L lactic acid and had a good ability to resist to cocoa-related stress conditions such as low pH, high temperature and high osmotic pressure, as well as to grow in sterile cocoa pulp. The strains did not inhibit the growth of yeasts and acetic acid bacteria, that are essential to the cocoa fermentation process, and possessed a complex pool of peptidases especially active on hydrophobic amino acids. The strains also showed antifungal activity against mould species that can be found at the final stages of cocoa fermentation, as Aspergillus tamarii, A. nidulans, Lichtheimia ornata and Rhizomucor pusillus, CONCLUSIONS: The tested strains are good candidates for the design of starter cultures for a controlled cocoa fermentation process.

SIGNIFICANCE AND IMPACT OF THE STUDY: This research showcases the potential of two alternative LAB species to the dominating Lactiplantibacillus plantarum and Limosilactibacillus fermentum as cocoa fermentation starters, with an interesting activity in improving the safety and quality of the process.

PMID:35751485 | DOI:10.1111/jam.15687

Source: Industry