, Volume 29, Issue 1, pp 11-18

Immobilized growing lactic acid bacteria with κ -carrageenan — locust bean gum gel

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A cell entrapment process using κ-carrageenan — locust bean gum gel is presented. Streptococcus thermophilus, Lactobacillus bulgaricus and S. lactis were immobilized in small gel beads (0.5–1.0 mm and 1.0–2.0 mm diameter) and fermentations in bench bioreactors were conducted. Viability of entrapped cells, lactose utilization, lactic acid production and cell release rates were measured during fermentation. The procedure was effective for S. thermophilus, L. bulgaricus and S. lactis, and the viability of these bacteria remained very high throughout entrapment steps and subsequent storage. Bead diameter influenced the fermentation rate: smaller beads (0.5–1.0 mm) permitted an increase in release rates, lactose utilization and acid production by entrapped cells, approximating values attained with free cells.