Influence of Lactobacillus plantarum WCFS1 on post-acidification, metabolite formation and survival of starter bacteria in set-yoghurt

Sarn Settachaimongkon, Hein J.F. van Valenberg, Inge Gazi, M.J.R. Nout, Toon C.M. van Hooijdonk, Marcel H. Zwietering, Eddy J. Smid*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

19 Citations (Scopus)


The objectives of this study were to evaluate the growth and survival of the model probiotic strain Lactobacillus plantarum WCFS1 in co-culture with traditional yoghurt starters and to investigate the impact of preculturing on their survival and metabolite formation in set-yoghurt. L. plantarum WCFS1 was precultured under sublethal stress conditions (combinations of elevated NaCl and low pH) in a batch fermentor before inoculation in milk. Adaptive responses of L. plantarum WCFS1 were evaluated by monitoring bacterial population dynamics, milk acidification and changes in volatile and non-volatile metabolite profiles of set-yoghurt. The results demonstrated that sublethal preculturing did not significantly affect survival of L. plantarum WCFS1. On the other hand, incorporation of sublethally precultured L. plantarum WCFS1 significantly impaired the survival of Lactobacillus delbrueckii subsp. bulgaricus which consequently reduced the post-acidification of yoghurt during refrigerated storage. A complementary metabolomics approach using headspace SPME-GC/MS and 1H NMR combined with multivariate statistical analysis revealed substantial impact of sublethally precultured L. plantarum WCFS1 on the metabolite profiles of set-yoghurt. This study provides insight in the technological implications of non-dairy model probiotic strain L. plantarum WCFS1, such as its good stability in fermented milk and the inhibitory effect on post-acidification.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)14-22
JournalFood Microbiology
Publication statusPublished - 2016



  • Dairy
  • Fermented milk
  • Lactic acid bacteria
  • Metabolomics
  • Probiotics
  • Stress response

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