ABSTRACT Three Lactobacillus strains previously isolated from artisanal Italian cheeses and identified by species-specific PCR as L. helveticus, L. paracasei and L. rhamnosus, were evaluated for the presence of functional traits, such as acidifying activity, cell surface hydrophobicity, antibiotic resistance, survival in low pH and in presence of bile salts, in comparison with two commercially available probiotic strains (Lactobacillus acidophilus La-5 and L. rhamnosus GG). Subsequently, with the aim to develop a new non-dairy functional product, cocoa powder was used as a medium for incorporating freeze-dried cultures of each tested strain and survival at different time/temperature conditions was investigated. The results obtained demonstrated that artisanal dairy products are interesting sources of new probiotic strains; in particular, the dairy origin strain L. rhamnosus showed a good probiotic performance and the highest level of survival during storage. Finally, we showed that cocoa powder represents a good delivery medium for lactobacilli: it could be considered a novel functional food exhibiting high antioxidant power and presenting probiotic potential.
Cite this paper
nullG. Ricci, F. Borgo, C. Ferrario and M. Fortina, "Cocoa Powder as Delivery Medium for Probiotic Lactobacillus Strains," Advances in Microbiology, Vol. 1 No. 1, 2011, pp. 1-6. doi: 10.4236/aim.2011.11001.
 M. Saarela, G. Mogensen, R. Fondén, J. Matto and T. Mattila-Sandholm, “Probiotic Bacteria: Safety, Functional and Technological Properties,” Journal of Biotechnology, Vol. 84, No. 3, 2000, pp. 197-215.
 S. Salminen, A. Ouwehand, Y. Benno and Y. K. Lee, “Probiotics: How Should They Be Defined?” Trends in Food Science and Technology, Vol. 10, No. 3, 2000, pp. 107-110. doi:10.1016/S0924-2244(99)00027-8
 G. W. Tannock, “A Special Fondness for Lactobacilli,” Applied and Enviromental Microbiology, Vol. 70, No. 6, 2004, pp. 3189-3194.
 P. Lavermicocca, F. Valerio, S. L. Lonigro, M. De Angelis, L. Morelli, M. L. Callegari, et al., “Study of Adhesion and Survival of Lactobacilli and Bifidobacteria on Table Olives with the Aim of Formulating a New Probiotic Food,” Applied and Environmental Microbiology, Vol. 71, No. 8, 2005, pp. 4233-4240.
 F. C. Prado, J. L. Parada, A. Pandey and C. R. Soccol, “Trends in Non-Dairy Probiotic Beverages,” Food Research International, Vol. 41, No. 2, 2008, pp. 111-123.
 L. Morelli, “In Vitro Assessment of Probiotic Bacteria: From Survival to Functionality,” International Dairy Journal, Vol. 17, No. 11, 2007, pp.1278-1283.
 H. Osman, R. Nasarudin and S. L. Lee, “Extracts of Cocoa (Theobroma cacao L.) Leaves and Their Antioxidation Potential,” Food Chemistry, Vol. 86, No. 1, 2004, pp. 41-46. doi:10.1016/j.foodchem.2003.08.026
 E. L. Ding, S. M. Hutfless, X. Ding and S. Girotra, “Chocolate and Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease: A Systematic Review,” Nutrition and Metabolism, Vol. 3, 2006, pp. 2-12. doi:10.1186/1743-7075-3-2
 U. Campia and J. A. Panza, “Flavanol-Rich Cocoa: A Promising New Dietary Intervention to Reduce Cardiovascular Risk in Type 2 Diabetes?” Journal of the Am- erican College of Cardiology, Vol. 51, No. 22, 2008, pp. 2150-2152. doi:10.1016/j.jacc.2008.02.058
 K. W. Lee, Y. J. Kim, H. J. Lee and C. Y. Lee, “Cocoa Has More Phenolic Phytochemicals and a Higher Antioxidant Capacity than Teas and Red Wine,” Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, Vol. 51, No. 25, 2003, pp. 7292-7295. doi:10.1021/jf0344385
 M. Rosenberg, D. Gutnick and E. Rosenberg, “Adherence of Bacteria to Hydrocarbons: A Simple Method for Measuring Cell-Surface Hydrophobicity,” FEMS Microbiology Letters, Vol. 9, No. 1, 1980, pp. 29-33.
 M. J. Andrews, “Determination of Minimum Inhibitory Concentrations,” Journal of Antimicrobial Chemistry, Vol. 48, 2001, pp. 5-16.
 D. J. Austin, K. G. Kristinsson and R. M. Anderson, “The Relationship between the Volume of Antimicrobial Con- sumption in Human Communities and the Frequency of Resistance,” Proceedings of the Natural Academy of Sciences (USA), Vol. 96, No. 3, 1999, pp.1152-1156.
 W. P. Charteris, P. M. Kelly, L. Morelli and J. K. Collins, “Antibiotic Susceptibility of Potentially Probiotic Lactobacillus Species,” Journal of Food Protection, Vol. 61, 1998, pp. 1636-1643.
 L. J. H. Ward and M. J. Timmins, “Differentiation of Lactobacillus casei, L. paracasei and L. rhamnosus by Polymerase Chain Reaction,” Letters in Applied Microbiology, Vol. 29, No. 2, 1999, pp. 90-92.
 M. G. Fortina, G. Ricci, D. Mora, C. Parini and P. L. Manachini, “Specific Identification of Lactobacillus helveticus by PCR with pepC, pepN and htrA Targeted Primers,” FEMS Microbiology Letters, Vol. 198, No. 1, 2001, pp. 85-89.