Isolation, identification, and selection of strains as candidate probiotics and starters for fermentation of Swedish legumes

  • Inger-Cecilia Mayer Labba Food and Nutrition Science, Department of Biology and Biological Engineering, Chalmers University of Technology, Gothenburg, Sweden
  • Thomas Andlid Food and Nutrition Science, Department of Biology and Biological Engineering, Chalmers University of Technology, Gothenburg, Sweden
  • Åsa Lindgren Department of Clinical Bacteriology, Institute of Biomedicine, Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg, Gothenburg, Sweden
  • Ann-Sofie Sandberg Food and Nutrition Science, Department of Biology and Biological Engineering, Chalmers University of Technology, Gothenburg, Sweden
  • Fei Sjöberg Department of Infectious Diseases, Institute of Biomedicine, Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg, Sweden
Keywords: Lactic acid bacteria, identification, fermentation, plant based, fava beans


Background: The non-dairy sector is growing, fermented alternatives to dairy are sparse. Adapted starter cultures to substituting raw materials needs to be developed.

Objective: Aims of this study were to isolate, identify, and phenotypically characterize lactic acid bacteria (LAB) that inhabit Swedish legumes, and assess properties necessary for selecting strains with the ability to ferment a bean beverage and with potential health beneficial properties.

Design: Isolates of presumed LAB were obtained from legumes collected at Öland, Sweden. Strain diversity was assessed by repetitive polymerase chain reaction (rep-PCR). The strains were identified using matrix- assisted laser desorption/ionization–time-of-flight mass spectrometry (MALDI-TOF MS). Species belonging to Enterococcus were predominant along with Pediococcus and closely related Bacillus. Strains were tested for tolerance to low pH, phenol, and bile as well as their bile salt hydrolase (BSH) activity. In addition, Enterococcus strains were tested for antibiotic resistance, and Pediococcus strains for their ability to ferment a bean beverage.

Results: From the 25 strains characterized, five were found resistant to low pH, bile, and phenol, suggesting that they can survive a passage through the gastrointestinal tract (GIT) and hence potentially exert beneficial effects in the host. These are suggested for further investigation on specific host-beneficial properties. Two of these, belonging to Pediococcus pentosaceus, were able to ferment a bean beverage without any added nutrients, indicating that the Pediococcus strains are well adapted to the bean substrate. One of the P. pentosaceus strains were also able to markedly improve the reduction of phytate by the phytase-producing yeast strain Pichia kudriavzevii TY1322 during co-fermentation as well as increase the final cell count of the yeast strain.

Conclusion: Strain isolation and characterization performed in this study aids in selecting starter cultures for legume fermentation. Nutritional properties can be improved by co-fermentation with yeast indicating that novel nutritious fermented non-dairy products could be developed.


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How to Cite
Mayer Labba I.-C., Andlid T., Lindgren Åsa, Sandberg A.-S., & Sjöberg F. (2020). Isolation, identification, and selection of strains as candidate probiotics and starters for fermentation of Swedish legumes. Food & Nutrition Research, 64.
Original Articles