The microbial flora of sugary kefir grain (the gingerbeer plant): biosynthesis of the grain fromLactobacillus hilgardii producing a polysaccharide gel

  • M. Pidoux
Research Papers

Summary

The microflora of sugary kefir grains was principally mesophilic and consisted chiefly of lactic acid bacteria [Lactobacillus casei, Lactobacillus hilgardii (=brevis),Leuconostoc mesenteroides ssp.dextranicum, Streptococcus lactis] and a small proportion of yeasts (Zygosaccharomyces florentinus, Torulospora pretoriensis, Kloeckera apiculata, Candida lambica andC. valida). Few coliforms and faecal streptococci were observed. Observation by scanning electron microscopy revealed that the filamentous yeasts adhered to the bacteria on the periphery of the grain.Lactobacillus hilgardii, the single microorganism isolated which was able to produce a gelling polysaccharide, was important in the biosynthesis of the grain. Pieces of gel produced by this strain, and transferred in a yeast extract-sucrose solution, grew and resembled the household kefir grains. This represents a new, cheap way of producing immobilized cells by self-embedding in a neutral polysaccharide.

Flore microbienne du grain de kefir sucré (plant de la bière de gingembre): biosynthèse du grain par Lactobacillus hilgardii produisant un gel de polysaccharide

Résumé

La microflore des grains de kefir sucré est essentiellement mésophile et comprend principalement des bactéries lactiquesLactobacillus casei, Lactobacillus hilgardii (= brevis),Leuconostoc mesenteroides ssp.dextranicum, Streptococcus lactis ainsi qu'une petite proportion de levures (Zygosaccharomyces florentinus, Torulospora pretoriensis, Kloeckera apiculata, Candida lambica etC. valida). On a observé peu de coliformes et de streptocoques fécaux. L'observation au microscope électronique à balayage a révélé que les levures filamenteuses adhèrent aux bactéries sur la périphérie du grain.Lactobacillus hilgardii, le seul microorganisme isolé susceptible de produire un polysaccharide gélifiant, est important dans la biosynthèse du grain. Des morceaux de gel produit par cette souche et transférés dans une solution d'extrait de levure et de saccharose, croissent et ressemblent aux grains de kefir domestique. Ceci représente une manière nouvelle, peu coûteuse de produire des cellules immobilisées par auto-piégeage dans un polysaccharide neutre.

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Copyright information

© Oxford University Press 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • M. Pidoux
    • 1
  1. 1.Groupe de recherche Bactéries lactiques-levuresEcole Nationale d' Ingénieurs des Techniques des Industries Agro Alimentaires, Chemin de la GéraudièreNantes CedexFrance

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