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LACTIC ACID BACTERIA AS METAL QUENCHERS TO IMPROVE FOOD SAFETY AND QUALITY

Published in AgroLife Scientific Journal, Volume 6, Number 2
Written by Ami PATEL, Aparna SV, Nihir SHAH, Deepak Kumar VERMA

Lactic acid bacteria (LAB) have long history of safe use in diverse fermented dairy and food products and offers health enlivening possessions as probiotics. Apart from this, recently, several Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium spp. have been found to bind with metal ions through metabolism independent mechanism like surface binding by adsorption and ion exchange. The major contaminants encountered in milk and other food products chiefly include pesticide residues, heavy metals, and aflatoxin M1. Milk may get contaminated before milking from the cattle feed, sources/materials employed during the milk processing and inappropriate handling of milk during the pre- and post-processing period. It will ultimately lead to magnification of the specific metal or related contaminants in the finished product. The bioquenching/biosorption abilities of LAB will help to formulate natural treatments to decrease metal toxicity from drinking water, dairy and food products as well as within human body through development of functional foods and nutraceuticals.

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