Lactobacilli are employed in probiotic food preparations and as feed additives in poultry and livestock, due to health benefits associated with their consumption. The objective of this study was to evaluate and compare the probiotic potential of ten lactobacilli strains isolated from commercial dairy food products and animal rumen contents in New Zealand. Genetic identification of the isolates revealed that all belonged to the genus Lactobacillus, specifically the species L. reuteri, L. rhamnosus and L. plantarum. All isolates did not show any haemolytic behaviour. Isolates of dairy origin showed better tolerance to low pH stress. On the other hand, rumen isolates exhibited a higher tolerance to presence of bile salts. All isolates exhibited resistance to aminoglycoside antibiotics, however most were sensitive to ampicillin. Isolates of rumen origin demonstrated a higher inhibitory effect on Listeria monocytogenes, Enterobacter aerogenes and Salmonella menston. Bacterial adherence of all isolates increased with a decrease in pH. This screening study on lactobacilli isolates has assessed and identified potential probiotic candidates for further evaluation.
Keywords: animal rumen; comparing in vitro characteristics; dairy food; lactobacilli; screening.