Lactobacillus plantarum and Pediococcus pentosaceus starter cultures as a tool for microflora management in malting and for enhancement of malt processability

Arja Laitila (Corresponding Author), Hannele Sweins, Arvi Vilpola, Erja Kotaviita, Juhani Olkku, Silja Home, Auli Haikara

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

45 Citations (Scopus)


Lactobacillus plantarum VTT E-78076 (E76) and Pediococcus pentosaceus VTT E-90390 (E390) starter cultures were added to the steeping water of normal malting barley in order to balance the microbial community and to enhance malt processability. In this study, we also investigated the effects of lactic acid-acidified MRS-spent medium (MRS-LA) on malting performance. Malting trials with five different two-row barley varieties were carried out in 25 kg pilot scale. The starter cultures promoted yeast growth during malting and restricted the growth of harmful bacteria and Fusarium fungi. Furthermore, they had positive effects on malt characteristics. Reduction in wort viscosity and β-glucan content and enhanced xylanase and microbial β-glucanase activities were observed. Starter cultures notably improved lautering performance. Some of the beneficial effects were due to the lactic acid and low pH, as similar effects were obtained with MRS-LA. Starter cultures offer a tool for tailoring of malt properties.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3840-3851
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 2006
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • Barley (Hordeum vulgare L.)
  • malting
  • lactic acid bacteria
  • microbial community
  • malt quality enzyme activity
  • filtration

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