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, 28 (3), 457-64

Dynamics and Species Diversity of Communities of Lactic Acid Bacteria and Acetic Acid Bacteria During Spontaneous Cocoa Bean Fermentation in Vessels

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Dynamics and Species Diversity of Communities of Lactic Acid Bacteria and Acetic Acid Bacteria During Spontaneous Cocoa Bean Fermentation in Vessels

Timothy Lefeber et al. Food Microbiol.

Abstract

To speed up research on the usefulness and selection of bacterial starter cultures for cocoa bean fermentation, a benchmark cocoa bean fermentation process under natural fermentation conditions was developed successfully. Therefore, spontaneous fermentations of cocoa pulp-bean mass in vessels on a 20 kg scale were tried out in triplicate. The community dynamics and kinetics of these fermentations were studied through a multiphasic approach. Microbiological analysis revealed a limited bacterial species diversity and targeted community dynamics of both lactic acid bacteria (LAB) and acetic acid bacteria (AAB) during fermentation, as was the case during cocoa bean fermentations processes carried out in the field. LAB isolates belonged to two main (GTG)(5)-PCR clusters, namely Lactobacillus plantarum and Lactobacillus fermentum, with Fructobacillus pseudofilculneus occurring occasionally; one main (GTG)(5)-PCR cluster, composed of Acetobacter pasteurianus, was found among the AAB isolates, besides minor clusters of Acetobacter ghanensis and Acetobacter senegalensis. 16S rRNA-PCR-DGGE revealed that L. plantarum and L. fermentum dominated the fermentations from day two until the end and Acetobacter was the only AAB species present at the end of the fermentations. Also, species of Tatumella and Pantoea were detected culture-independently at the beginning of the fermentations. Further, it was shown through metabolite target analyses that similar substrate consumption and metabolite production kinetics occurred in the vessels compared to spontaneous cocoa bean fermentation processes. Current drawbacks of the vessel fermentations encompassed an insufficient mixing of the cocoa pulp-bean mass and retarded yeast growth.

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