Vittorio Capozzi

Università degli studi di Foggia, Foggia, Apulia, Italy

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Publications (43)66.67 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: The probiotic potential of Lactobacillus plantarum and Lactobacillus fermentum strains, capable of overproducing riboflavin, was investigated. The riboflavin production was quantified in co-cultures of lactobacilli and human intestinal epithelial cells, and the riboflavin overproduction ability was confirmed. When milk and yogurt were used as carrier matrices, L. plantarum and L. fermentum strains displayed a significant ability to survive through simulated gastrointestinal transit. Adhesion was studied on both biotic and abiotic surfaces. Both strains adhered strongly on Caco-2 cells, negatively influenced the adhesion of Escherichia coli O157:H7, and strongly inhibited the growth of three reference pathogenic microbial strains. Resistance to major antibiotics and potential hemolytic activity were assayed. Overall, this study reveals that these Lactobacillus stains are endowed with promising probiotic properties and thus are candidates for the development of novel functional food which would be both enriched in riboflavin and induce additional health benefits, including a potential in situ riboflavin production, once the microorganisms colonize the host intestine.
    Applied microbiology and biotechnology. 06/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: Lactobacillus fermentum isolated from sourdough was able to produce riboflavin. Spontaneous roseoflavin-resistant mutants were obtained by exposing the wild strain (named L. fermentum PBCC11) to increasing concentrations of roseoflavin. Fifteen spontaneous roseoflavin-resistant mutants were isolated, and the level of vitamin B2 was quantified by HPLC. Seven mutant strains produced concentrations of vitamin B2 higher than 1 mg L(-1). Interestingly, three mutants were unable to overproduce riboflavin even though they were able to withstand the selective pressure of roseoflavin. Alignment of the rib leader region of PBCC11 and its derivatives showed only point mutations at two neighboring locations of the RFN element. In particular, the highest riboflavin-producing isolates possess an A to G mutation at position 240, while the lowest riboflavin producer carries a T to A substitution at position 236. No mutations were detected in the derivative strains that did not have an overproducing phenotype. The best riboflavin overproducing strain, named L. fermentum PBCC11.5, and its parental strain were used to fortify bread. The effect of two different periods of fermentation on the riboflavin level was compared. Bread produced using the coinoculum yeast and L. fermentum PBCC11.5 led to an approximately twofold increase of final vitamin B2 content.
    Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology 01/2014; · 3.69 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Currently, the majority of prebiotics in the market are derived from non-digestible oligosaccharides. Very few studies have focused on non-digestible long chain complex polysaccharides in relation to their potential as novel prebiotics. Cereals β-glucans have been investigated for immune-modulating properties and beneficial effects on obesity, cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, and cholesterol levels. Moreover, β-glucans have been reported to be highly fermentable by the intestinal microbiota in the caecum and colon, and can enhance both growth rate and lactic acid production of microbes isolated from the human intestine. In this work, we report the effects of food matrices containing barley β-glucans on growth and probiotic features of four Lactobacillus strains. Such matrices were able to improve the growth rate of the tested bacteria both in unstressed conditions and, importantly, after exposure to in vitro simulation of the digestive tract. Moreover, the effect of β-glucans-containing food on bacterial adhesion to enterocyte-like cells was analyzed and a positive influence on probiotic-enterocyte interaction was observed.
    International Journal of Molecular Sciences 01/2014; 15(2):3025-39. · 2.46 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Oenococcus oeni is the main lactic acid bacterium that carries out the malolactic fermentation in virtually all red wines and in some white and sparkling wines. Oenococcus oeni possesses an array of metabolic activities that can modify the taste and aromatic properties of wine. There is, therefore, industrial interest in the proteins involved in these metabolic pathways and related transport systems of this bacterium. In this work, we report the characterization of the O. oeni ATCC BAA-1163 proteome. Total and membrane protein preparations from O. oeni were standardized and analysed by two-dimensional gel electrophoresis. Using tandem mass spectrometry, we identified 224 different spots corresponding to 152 unique proteins, which have been classified by their putative function and subjected to bioinformatics analysis.
    Open Biology 01/2014; 4(2):130154. · 3.27 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Oenococcus oeni OM27 is a strain selected from "Nero di Troia" wine undergoing spontaneous malolactic fermentation. "Nero di Troia" is a wine made from "Uva di Troia" grapes, an autochthonous black grape variety from the Apulian region (south of Italy). In this paper we present a 1.78-Mb assembly of the O. oeni OM27 genome, the first fully assembled genome of an O. oeni strain from an Italian wine.
    Genome announcements. 01/2014; 2(4).
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    ABSTRACT: In the present work we developed a MPN quantitative real-time PCR (MPN-qPCR) method for a fast and reliable detection and quantification of Listeria monocytogenes and Escherichia coli O157:H7 in minimally processed vegetables. In order to validate the proposed technique, the results were compared with conventional MPN followed by phenotypic and biochemical assays methods. When L. monocytogenes and E. coli O157:H7 were artificially inoculated in fresh-cut vegetables, a concentration as low as 1 CFU g(-1) could be detected in 48 hours for both pathogens. qPCR alone allowed a limit of detection of 10(1) CFU g(-1) after 2 hours of enrichment for L. monocytogenes and E. coli O157:H7. Since minimally processed ready-to-eat vegetables are characterized by very short shelf life, our method can potentially address the consistent reduction of time for microbial analysis, allowing a better management of quality control. Moreover, the occurrences of both pathogenic bacteria in mixed salad samples and fresh-cut melons were monitored in two production plants from the receipt of the raw materials to the early stages of shelf life. No sample was found to be contaminated by L. monocytogenes. One sample of raw mixed salad was found positive to an H7 enterohemorrhagic serotype.
    BioMed Research International 01/2014; 2014:608296. · 2.88 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: This work is the first large-scale study on vineyard-associated yeast strains from Apulia (Southern Italy). Yeasts were identified by Internal Transcribed Spacer (ITS) ribotyping and bioinformatic analysis. The polymorphism of interdelta elements was used to differentiate Saccharomyces cerevisiae strains. Twenty different species belonging to 9 genera were identified. Predominant on the grape surface were Metschnikowia pulcherrima, Hanseniaspora uvarum and Aureobasidium pullulans, whereas M. pulcherrima and H. uvarum were dominant in the early fermentation stage. A total of 692 S. cerevisiae isolates were identified and a number of S. cerevisiae strains, ranging from 26 to 55, was detected in each of the eight fermentations. The strains were tested for biogenic amines (BAs) production, either in synthetic media or grape must. Two Pichia manshurica, an Issatchenkia terricola and a M. pulcherrima strains were able to produce histamine and cadaverine, during must fermentation. The production of BAs in wine must was different than that observed in the synthetic medium. This feature indicate the importance of an "in grape must" assessment of BAs producing yeast. Overall, our results suggest the importance of microbiological control during wine-making to reduce the potential health risk for consumer represented by these spoilage yeasts.
    Food Microbiology 12/2013; 36(2):335-42. · 3.41 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Dietary probiotics should reach the intestine viable and in high numbers; therefore, they should tolerate the stress associated to the gastro-intestinal (GI) environment. Indeed, all along the different GI sections, probiotics are challenged by several sources of stress, including low pH, bile and digestive enzymes. Bacterial cells are equipped with various defense mechanisms to allow survival in hostile environments. The food matrix used to deliver beneficial bacteria may contribute to their probiotic action, e.g. by enhancing survival to stress and gut colonization. In this study, the survival of the lactic acid bacterium Lactobacillus plantarum WCFS1, a model probiotic strain, was examined in a human oro-gastric-intestinal (OGI) in vitro system, using different carrier matrices to compare protective and buffering properties. Higher survival was observed in complex and/or nutrient-rich matrices, and when potential prebiotics were added. The molecular response of L. plantarum to the OGI transit was analyzed by studying the transcriptional levels of genes involved in stress response and probiosis. The OGI steps of higher mortality corresponded to greater induction of stress genes, thus implying their involvement in adaptation to the gut environment. Plantaricins were significantly upregulated all along the different OGI sections; adhesion genes were mainly induced by gastric environment.
    Microbiological Research 02/2013; · 1.99 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Wheat contains various essential nutrients including the B group of vitamins. However, B group vitamins, normally present in cereals-derived products, are easily removed or destroyed during milling, food processing or cooking. Lactic acid bacteria (LAB) are widely used as starter cultures for the fermentation of a large variety of foods and can improve the safety, shelf life, nutritional value, flavor and overall quality of the fermented products. In this regard, the identification and application of strains delivering health-promoting compounds is a fascinating field. Besides their key role in food fermentations, several LAB found in the gastrointestinal tract of humans and animals are commercially used as probiotics and possess generally recognized as safe status. LAB are usually auxotrophic for several vitamins although certain strains of LAB have the capability to synthesize water-soluble vitamins such as those included in the B group. In recent years, a number of biotechnological processes have been explored to perform a more economical and sustainable vitamin production than that obtained via chemical synthesis. This review article will briefly report the current knowledge on lactic acid bacteria synthesis of vitamins B2, B11 and B12 and the potential strategies to increase B-group vitamin content in cereals-based products, where vitamins-producing LAB have been leading to the elaboration of novel fermented functional foods. In addition, the use of genetic strategies to increase vitamin production or to create novel vitamin-producing strains will be also discussed.
    Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology 10/2012; · 3.69 Impact Factor
  • Vittorio Capozzi, Pasquale Russo, Giuseppe Spano
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    ABSTRACT: Fermented food Geographical Indications (GIs), protected within the framework of Intellectual Property and Human Rights, are based on various forms of local knowledge and technical practices and on various aspects of local biodiversity, ranging from plant varieties and animal breeds to microbial ecosystem. In the light of the EC Regulation 510/2006 relating to the protection of EU GIs, information about microbial resource management in GIs production is not unequivocally defined. We argue that it is possible to integrate the microbial resource information regimen coherently within the intellectual property framework for GIs. Product specification of GI fermented foods might comprise a list of autochthonous microbial strains representing the “virtuous” microbial biodiversity of a specific terroir and for a given method of food production. The autochthonous strains should be genotypically and technologically characterized and deposited in microbial collections. This approach will be useful in improving the “unique qualities” of products, and in ensuring a strong focus on the biological risks for human health and industrial exigencies of product standardization. Additionally, it is important to underline that a multi-strain starter culture essentially satisfies the patentable criteria.
    World Patent Information 09/2012; 34(3):229–231.
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    ABSTRACT: In this study, the probiotic potential of Lactobacillus plantarum wild-type and derivative mutant strains was investigated. Bacterial survival was evaluated in an in vitro system, simulating the transit along the human oro-gastro-intestinal tract. Interaction with human gut epithelial cells was studied by assessing bacterial adhesive ability to Caco-2 cells and induction of genes involved in innate immunity. L. plantarum strains were resistant to the combined stress at the various steps of the simulated gastrointestinal tract. Major decreases in the viability of L. plantarum cells were observed mainly under drastic acidic conditions (pH ≤ 2.0) of the gastric compartment. Abiotic stresses associated to small intestine poorly affected bacterial viability. All the bacterial strains significantly adhered to Caco-2 cells, with the ΔctsR mutant strain exhibiting the highest adhesion. Induction of immune-related genes resulted higher upon incubation with heat-inactivated bacteria rather than with live ones. For specific genes, a differential transcriptional pattern was observed upon stimulation with different L. plantarum strains, evidencing a possible role of the knocked out bacterial genes in the modulation of host cell response. In particular, cells from Δhsp18.55 and ΔftsH mutants strongly triggered immune defence genes. Our study highlights the relevance of microbial genetic background in host-probiotic interaction and might contribute to identify candidate bacterial genes and molecules involved in probiosis.
    Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology 05/2012; 96(2):431-41. · 3.69 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Cereals-derived foods represent a key constituent in the diet of many populations. In particular, pasta is consumed in large quantities throughout the world in reason of its nutritive importance, containing significant amounts of complex carbohydrates, proteins, B-vitamins, and iron. Lactic acid bacteria (LAB) are a heterogeneous group of bacteria that play a key role in the production of fermented foods and beverages with high relevance for human and animal health. A wide literature testifies the multifaceted importance of LAB biotechnological applications in cereal-based products. Several studies focused on LAB isolation and characterization in durum wheat environment, in some cases with preliminary experimental applications of LAB in pasta-making. In this paper, using sourdough as a model, we focus on the relevant state-of-art to introduce a LAB-based biotechnological step in industrial pasta-making, a potential world driver of innovation that might represent a cutting-edge advancement in pasta production.
    Frontiers in Microbiology 01/2012; 3:94.