A total of eight strains of lactic acid bacteria were isolated from water kefir grains and assessed for their in vitro α-glucosidase inhibitory activity. Lactobacillus mali K8 demonstrated significantly higher inhibition as compared to the other strains, thus was selected for in vitro probiotic potential characterization, antibiotic resistance, hemolytic activity and adaptation to pumpkin fruit puree. L. mali K8 demonstrated tolerance to pH 2.5 and resisted the damaging effects of bile salts, pepsin and pancreatin, comparable to that of Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG ATCC 53103 (reference strain). Lack of hemolytic activity and susceptibility to the five standard antibiotics indicated the safety of the K8 strain. This strain showed singular properties to be used as starters in the pumpkin fruit puree fermentation. These preliminary in vitro tests indicated the safety and functionality of the K8 strain and its potential as a probiotic candidate.
Keywords: Inhibitory activity; Lactobacillus mali; Pumpkin puree; α-Glucosidase.
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