Carbohydrate, peptide and lipid metabolism of lactic acid bacteria in sourdough

Food Microbiol. 2007 Apr;24(2):128-38. doi: 10.1016/ Epub 2006 Sep 7.


The metabolic pathways of lactic acid bacteria that influence bread quality are coupled to the central carbon flux by the availability of cofactors influencing the cellular and environmental redox potential. Homo- and heterofermentative metabolism differ fundamentally with respect to the requirement for regeneration of reduced cofactors, NADH or NADPH. The utilization of co-substrates such as oxygen or fructose as electron acceptors by obligate heterofermentative lactobacilli is coupled to an increased production of acetate in dough. Recently, several oxidoreductases involved in cofactor regeneration were characterized and glutathione and short-chain aldehydes derived from lipid oxidation were identified as substrates for cofactor regeneration by Lactobacillus sanfranciscensis. Based on the different metabolic requirements for cofactor regeneration, homo- and heterofermentative lactobacilli exert divergent effects on redox-reactions in sourdough that influence bread quality beyond the formation of acetate. Proteolysis, followed by peptide or amino acid metabolism by LAB is one of the key routes of flavour formation in bread flavour, and enables the strain-specific formation of antifungal metabolites. Peptide metabolism as well as the metabolism of cysteine, arginine, and phenylalanine in Lactobacillus plantarum, L. sanfranciscensis, and Lactobacillus pontis is increasingly understood and these insights provide new opportunities for the directed application of sourdough LAB for improved bread quality.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Bread / microbiology*
  • Bread / standards
  • Carbohydrate Metabolism*
  • Fermentation
  • Food Microbiology
  • Lactobacillus / enzymology
  • Lactobacillus / metabolism*
  • Lipid Metabolism*
  • Oxidation-Reduction
  • Proteins / metabolism*
  • Substrate Specificity
  • Taste


  • Proteins