Stationary-phase acid and heat treatments for improvement of the viability of probiotic lactobacilli and bifidobacteria

Maria Saarela (Corresponding Author), Merja Rantala, Katri Hallamaa, Liisa Nohynek, Ilkka Virkajärvi, Jaana Mättö

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

    140 Citations (Scopus)


    Aims: To investigate whether sublethal treatments of stationary‐phase probiotic cultures enhance their survival during lethal treatments and to adapt these treatments to the fermenter‐scale production of probiotic cultures.

    Methods and Results: Conditions for acid and heat pretreatments were screened for three Lactobacillus and two Bifidobacterium strains. Strains were sublethally treated both at laboratory scale and at fermenter scale in a strain‐specific manner and exposed to a subsequent lethal treatment. At laboratory scale viability improvement was detected in each strain. However, improvement was more pronounced in the Lactobacillus than in the Bifidobacterium strains. At fermenter scale three strains were tested: for the two Lactobacillus strains a marked improvement in viability was obtained whereas for the Bifidobacterium strain the improvement was either minor or not detected.

    Conclusions: Development of treatments for viability enhancement of probiotic strains is feasible, but strain‐specific optimization is necessary to obtain notable improvements.

    Significance and Impact of the Study: Strain‐specific treatments were developed for the viability enhancement of stationary‐phase probiotic cells both at laboratory and fermenter scale. These results can be utilised in the production of probiotic cultures with improved viability.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1205 - 1214
    Number of pages10
    JournalJournal of Applied Microbiology
    Issue number6
    Publication statusPublished - 2004
    MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


    • probiotic
    • probiotic bacteria
    • probiotics
    • Bifidobacterium
    • Lactobacillus
    • fermentation
    • microbial viability
    • viability


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