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Lactic acid bacteria and yeasts in kefir grains and kefir made from them

In an investigation of the changes in the microflora along the pathway: kefir grains (A)→kefir made from kefir grains (B)→kefir made from kefir as inoculum (C), the following species of lactic acid bacteria (83–90%) of the microbial count in the grains) were identified: Lactococcus lactis subsp. lactis, Streptococcus thermophilus, Lactobacillus delbrueckii subsp. bulgaricus, Lactobacillus helveticus, Lactobacillus casei subsp. pseudoplantarum and Lactobacillus brevis. Yeasts (10–17%) identified were Kluyveromyces marxianus var. lactis, Saccharomyces cerevisiae, Candida inconspicua and Candida maris. In the microbial population of kefir grains and kefir made from them the homofermentative lactic streptococci (52–65% and 79–86%, respectively) predominated. Within the group of lactobacilli, the homofermentative thermophilic species L. delbrueckii subsp. bulgaricus and L. helveticus (70–87% of the isolated bacilli) predominated. Along the pathway A→B→C, the streptococcal proportion in the total kefir microflora increased by 26–30% whereas the lactobacilli decreased by 13–23%. K. marxianus var. lactis was permanently present in kefir grains and kefirs, whereas the dominant lactose-negative yeast in the total yeast flora of the kefir grains dramatically decreased in kefir C. Journal of Industrial Microbiology & Biotechnology (2002) 28, 1–6 DOI: 10.1038/sj/jim/7000186

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Received 02 August 2000/ Accepted in revised form 15 July 2001

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Simova, E., Beshkova, D., Angelov, A. et al. Lactic acid bacteria and yeasts in kefir grains and kefir made from them. J Ind Microbiol Biotech 28, 1–6 (2002).

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  • Keywords: kefir grains; kefir; lactic acid bacteria; yeasts; identification; composition