Aims: The present work was aimed at identifying strains of lactic acid bacteria (LAB) from kimchi, with properties suitable for use as starter cultures in yogurt fermentation.
Methods and results: A total of 2344 LAB strains were obtained from two different sources, one group consisted of commercial LAB strains from kimchi, and the second group consisted of those strains isolated from various types of kimchi. The LAB strains from both groups were screened for resistance to biological barriers (acid and bile salts), and the four most promising strains were selected. Further analysis revealed that KFRI342 of the four selected strains displayed the greatest ability to reduce the growth of the cancer cells, SNU-C4. The in vivo efficacy of strains in quinone reductase induction assay was evaluated, and the extent of DNA strand breakage in individual cells was investigated using the comet assay. Strain KFRI342 was identified as Lactobacillus acidophilus by 16S rRNA sequence analysis, showed protection against tumour initiation and imparted immunostimulation as well as protection against DNA damage.
Conclusions: Strain KFRI342, which showed probiotic characteristics reducing cancer cell growth, could be a suitable starter culture for yogurt fermentation because of its strong acid production and high acid tolerance.
Significance and impact of the study: This is the first report to describe a bacterium, isolated from kimchi, Lact. acidophilus KFRI342 which has the probiotic characteristics and the acid tolerance needed for its use as a starter culture in yogurt fermentation.
© 2010 The Authors. Journal compilation © 2010 The Society for Applied Microbiology.