To feed the growing population and to meet the consumers demand for more plant-based products we need to innovate and find new alternative sources for ingredients in nature. For instance, new starter culture strains could be used for biopreservation, enhancing nutritional and sensorial properties such as texture and flavor in those.
New species of lactic acid bacteria
Researchers from DTU National Food Institute have identified several new species of lactic acid bacteria from different plant-based sources which will be tested in different new food applications. The microorganisms are found from a wider diversity of sources in nature than seen before, i.e. flowers, berries and insect microbiomes.
The researchers expect to be able to describe new species of lactic acid bacteria which can be an important contribution to the green transition in the food industry. The new lactic acid bacteria can potentially be used for many purposes but, first the scientist are working on describing some of the species together food industry partners.
The hope is to get them included on the EFSA approved Qualified Presumption of Safety (QPS) list and then be applied to starter cultures in plant-based dairy alternatives that resemble cheeses or yoghurt, in fermented drinks, and in meat alternatives to add more taste. It can also be added to a product as a way of biopreservation to extend the shelf life.
New equipment makes it faster, easier and cheaper
The new lactic acid bacteria species was discovered through accessing the Maldi-TOF Biotyper which is part of the FOODHAY research infrastructure at DTU National Food Institute.
The Maldi-TOF Biotyper is used for rapid identification of isolated microorganisms using databases, and MS spectras for isolates. It makes the process of identifying new strains much faster, easier at a fraction of the cost compared to full genome sequencing or 16S-RNA sequencing
DTU National Food Institute use a central toolbox when developing and doing research on fermentation of plant-based products. This is the DTU National Food Institute culture collection NFICC
consisting of more than 3.500 strains that have been collected in the past years.