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Exopolysaccharide production by Streptococcus thermophilus SY: production and preliminary characterization of the polymer

Dipartimento di Biologia, Difesa e Biotecnologie Agro-forestali, Università della Basilicata, Potenza, Italy.
Journal of Applied Microbiology (Impact Factor: 2.39). 02/2002; 92(2):297-306. DOI: 10.1046/j.1365-2672.2002.01487.x
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ABSTRACT To evaluate the effect of yeast extract (YE) concentration, temperature and pH on growth and exopolysaccharide (EPS) production in a whey-based medium by Streptococcus thermophilus SY and to characterize the partially purified EPS.
Factorial experiments and empirical model building were used to optimize fermentation conditions and the chemical composition, average molecular weight (MW) and rheological properties of aqueous dispersions of the EPS were determined. Exopolysaccharide production was growth associated and was higher (152 mg l(-1)) at pH 6.4 and 36 degrees C with 4 g l(-1) YE. High performance size exclusion chromatography of the partially purified EPS showed two peaks, with a weight average MW of 2 x 10(6) and 5 x 10(4), respectively. The EPS was a heteropolysaccharide, with a glucose : galactose : rhamnose ratio of 2 : 4.5 : 1. Its water dispersions had a pseudoplastic behaviour and showed a higher viscosity of xanthan solutions.
The fermentation conditions and some properties of an EPS produced by Strep. thermophilus, a dairy starter organism, were described.

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