Improving the storage stability of Bifidobacterium breve in low pH fruit juice

Maria Saarela (Corresponding Author), Hanna-Leena Alakomi, Jaana Mättö, A. M. Ahonen, A. Puhakka, S. Tynkkynen

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

    42 Citations (Scopus)


    Bifidobacterial food applications are limited since bifidobacteria are sensitive to e.g. acidic conditions prevalent in many food matrices. The aim of the present study was to investigate whether a low pH selection step alone or combined to UV mutagenesis could improve the viability of an acid sensitive Bifidobacterium strain, B. breve 99, in low pH food matrices. Furthermore, the potential of carriers and an oat fibre preparation to further improve the stability was studied. The best performing low pH tolerant variants in the present study were generated by UV-mutagenesis with 70–700 μJ/cm2 followed by incubation in growth medium at pH 4.5. The most promising variants regarding the low pH tolerance showed, in repeated tests with cells grown without pH control, about one Log-value better survival in pH 3.8 fruit juice after one week storage at 4 °C compared to wild-type B. breve 99. Cells grown with pH control, PDX formulated and then frozen showed poorer viability in low pH fruit juice than cells grown with no pH control. For frozen concentrates pH 3.8 was too stressful and no or small differences between the variants and the wild-type strain were seen. The differences detected at pH 3.8 with the cells grown without pH control were also seen with the frozen concentrates at pH 4.5. Some improvement in the stability could be achieved by using a combination of trehalose, vitamin C and PDX as a freezing carrier material, whereas a significant improvement in the stability was seen when oat fibre was added into the fruit juice together with the frozen cells. Due to the initial very poor fruit juice tolerance of B. breve 99 the obtained improvement in the stability was not enough for commercial applications. However, the same methods could be applied to initially better performing strains to further improve their stability in the fruit juice.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)106-110
    Number of pages5
    JournalInternational Journal of Food Microbiology
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 2011
    MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


    • Bifidobacterium breve
    • fruit juice
    • stability
    • oat fibre
    • UV mutagenesis


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