The effect of lactose derivatives lactulose, lactitol and lactobionic acid on the functional and technological properties of potentially probiotic Lactobacillus strains

Maria Saarela (Corresponding Author), Katri Hallamaa, Tiina Mattila-Sandholm, Jaana Mättö

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Lactulose, lactitol and lactobionic acid are unabsorbable lactose derivatives with prebiotic potential. They are utilised in varying extent by different Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium species/strains. To explore the possibility of improving the properties of probiotic strains with a specific prebiotic, the effect of the lactose derivatives on the technological and functional properties of putative probiotic Lactobacillus strains was studied in vitro. The properties studied were growth in different conditions (aerobic versus anaerobic with varying substrate concentrations), acid and bile tolerance, antimicrobial activity, and stability during cold storage. In general lactose derivatives did not effect the technological or functional properties of the Lactobacillus strains. However, our results suggest that lactulose might improve the bile tolerance and cold-storage stability of Lactobacillus salivarius. Finding synbiotic pairs where the prebiotic would benefit the specific probiotic strain is not a simple task, but worth pursuing for, since this kind of capacity would give added value to the synbiotic product.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)291-302
Number of pages12
JournalInternational Dairy Journal
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2003
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed



  • Lactose derivatives
  • Lactobacillus
  • Probiotics
  • Prebiotics

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