Effect of water activity and protective solutes on growth and subsequent survival to air-drying of Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium cultures.
Claude Champagne , Y. Raymond and J. P. Simon
Nom de la revue: Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology 95(3): 745-756.
Probiotic cultures of Lactobacillus plantarum, Lactobacillus rhamnosus, Bifidobacterium longum, Lactobacillus casei and Lactobacillus acidophilus were grown in media having water activities (a<sub>w</sub>) adjusted between 0.99 and 0.94 with NaCl or with a mixture of glycerol and sucrose in order to find conditions of osmotic stress which would still allow for good growth. Cultures grown at a<sub>w</sub> = 0.96 or 0.99 were then recovered by centrifugation, added to a sucrose-phosphate medium and air-dried. In some assays, a 2-h osmotic stress was applied to the cell concentrate prior to air-drying. Assays were also carried out where betaine, glutamate and proline (BGP) supplements were added as protective compounds to the growth or drying media. For most strains, evidence of osmotic stress and benefits of BGP supplementation on growth occurred at a<sub>w</sub> = 0.96. Growing the cells in complex media adjusted at a<sub>w</sub> = 0.96 did not enhance their subsequent survival to air-drying, but applying the 2-h osmotic stress did. Addition of the BGP supplements to the growth medium or in the 2-h stress medium did not enhance survival to air-drying. Furthermore, addition of BGP to a sucrose-phosphate drying medium reduced survival of the cultures to air-drying. This study provides preliminary data for producers of probiotics who wish to use air-drying in replacement of freeze-drying for the stabilization of cultures.