FNS  Vol.5 No.10 , May 2014
The Citrate Metabolism in Homo- and Heterofermentative LAB: A Selective Means of Becoming Dominant over Other Microorganisms in Complex Ecosystems
Abstract: The citrate metabolism has been extensively studied in lactic acid bacteria (LAB) for its aroma compound production. Among the 4-carbon (C4) by-products obtained from citrate fermentation, diacetyl is one of the better known products for its contribution to the buttery aroma of dairy products. A lot of documents deal with ways to improve diacetyl concentration in food matrices. Apart from these organoleptic advantages, in a microbial ecosystem, the citrate metabolism gives selective advantages to citrate positive microorganisms. Citrate metabolism allows the LAB to use another carbon source for their growth, withstand acidic conditions and generate a “proton motive force” (PMF). Moreover, the citrate/glucid co-metabolism leads to the fast release of organic compounds known for having bacteriostatic effects. Under specific conditions, the C4 pathway liberates diacetyl which is bacteriostatic. In this review we first describe the citrate metabolism and the enzymes involved in the two homo- and heterofermentative LABLc diacetylactisandLeuconostocspp. Moreover, the way to shift the metabolic pathway toward the production of aromatic compounds is discussed for both of these fermentative types of bacteria. Finally, the selective advantages of citrate metabolism for LAB in complex microbial ecosystems are delineated.
Cite this paper: Laëtitia, G. , Pascal, D. and Yann, D. (2014) The Citrate Metabolism in Homo- and Heterofermentative LAB: A Selective Means of Becoming Dominant over Other Microorganisms in Complex Ecosystems. Food and Nutrition Sciences, 5, 953-969. doi: 10.4236/fns.2014.510106.

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