Functional properties of Lactobacillus strains isolated from kimchi

Int J Food Microbiol. 2011 Jan 31;145(1):155-61. doi: 10.1016/j.ijfoodmicro.2010.12.003. Epub 2010 Dec 13.


The objective of this study was to evaluate the functional properties of lactic acid bacteria (LAB) from kimchi, a traditional Korean fermented vegetable product generally consumed raw as a side-dish with practically every meal. Twelve mild acid producing facultatively heterofermentative Lactobacillus strains were selected for their potential as starter cultures for fermentation of kimchi, and evaluated for their functional properties. Eleven strains were identified as Lactobacillus sakei and one as Lactobacillus plantarum. The strains identified as L. sakei differed in some physiological features; of particular interest was the fact that 9 of these strains produced L(+) lactic acid from glucose in presence of acetate. All strains were able to survive gastrointestinal conditions simulating stomach and duodenum passage. In addition, they showed higher adherence to HT-29 cells than Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG, a commercial probiotic strain used worldwide. These strains also showed antimicrobial activity against a number of food-borne pathogens. Their ability to lower cholesterol was demonstrated by BSH (bile salt hydrolytic) activity, and cholesterol assimilation tests in vitro. The results suggest the probiotic potential of these strains for use in kimchi fermentation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Acetic Acid / metabolism
  • Antibiosis
  • Bacterial Adhesion
  • Bile Acids and Salts / metabolism
  • Carbohydrate Metabolism
  • Cholesterol / metabolism
  • Duodenum / microbiology
  • Fermentation*
  • Food Microbiology*
  • Glucose / metabolism
  • HT29 Cells
  • Humans
  • Hydrogen-Ion Concentration
  • Hydrophobic and Hydrophilic Interactions
  • Lactic Acid / biosynthesis
  • Lactobacillus / isolation & purification*
  • Lactobacillus / metabolism
  • Lactobacillus / physiology
  • Probiotics*
  • Stomach / microbiology
  • Vegetables / microbiology


  • Bile Acids and Salts
  • Lactic Acid
  • Cholesterol
  • Glucose
  • Acetic Acid