ObjectiveThe aim of this study was to characterize the exopolysaccharides (EPS)-producing lactic acid bacteria from Taiwanese ropy fermented milk (TRFM) for developing a clean label low-fat fermented milk.
MethodsPotential isolates from TRFM were selected based on the Gram staining test and observation of turbid suspension in the culture broth. Random amplified polymorphic DNA-polymerase chain reaction, 16S rRNA gene sequencing, and API CHL 50 test were used for strain identification. After evaluation of EPS concentration, target strains were introduced to low-fat milk fermentation for 24 h. Fermentation characters were checked: pH value, acidity, viable count, syneresis, and viscosity. Sensory evaluation of fermented products was carried out by 30 volunteers, while the storage test was performed for 21 days at 4°C.
ResultsTwo EPS-producing strains (APL15 and APL16) were isolated from TRFM and identified as Lactococcus (Lc.) lactis subsp. cremoris. Their EPS concentrations in glucose and lactose media were higher than other published strains of Lc. lactis subsp. cremoris. Low-fat fermented milk separately prepared with APL15 and APL16 reached pH 4.3 and acidity 0.8% with a viable count of 9 log colony-forming units/mL. The physical properties of both products were superior to the control yogurt, showing significant improvements in syneresis and viscosity (p<0.05). Our low-fat products had appropriate sensory scores in appearance and texture according to sensory evaluation. Although decreasing viable cells of strains during the 21-day storage test, low-fat fermented milk made by APL15 exhibited stable physicochemical properties, including pH value, acidity, syneresis and sufficient viable cells throughout the storage period.
ConclusionThis study demonstrated that Lc. lactis subsp. cremoris APL15 isolated from TRFM had good fermentation abilities to produce low-fat fermented milk. These data indicate that EPS-producing lactic acid bacteria have great potential to act as natural food stabilizers for low-fat fermented milk.