The capability of different fibre preparations to protect the viability and stability of Lactobacillus rhamnosus during freeze-drying, storage in freeze-dried form and after formulation into apple juice and chocolate-coated breakfast cereals was studied. In freeze-drying trials wheat dextrin and polydextrose proved to be promising carriers for the L. rhamnosus strains: both freeze-drying survival and storage stability at 37 °C were comparable to the control carrier (sucrose). Using apple fibre and inulin carriers resulted in powders with fairly good initial freeze-drying survival but with poor storage stability at 37 °C. When fresh L. rhamnosus cells were added into apple juice (pH 3.5) together with oat flour with 20% β-glucan the survival of the cells was much better at 4 °C and at 20 °C than with sucrose, wheat dextrin and polydextrose, whereas with freeze-dried cells no protective effect of oat flour could be seen. The stability of freeze-dried L. rhamnosus cells at 20 °C was higher in chocolate-coated breakfast cereals compared to low pH apple juice. Similar to freeze-drying stability, wheat dextrin and polydextrose proved to be better carriers than oat flour in chocolate-coated breakfast cereals. Regardless of their differing capability to adhere to fibre preparations the two L. rhamnosus strains studied gave parallel results in the stability studies with different carriers.
- Lactobacillus rhamnosus