Metabolic Responses of Lactobacillus plantarum Strains during Fermentation and Storage of Vegetable and Fruit Juices
De Angelis M
Di Cagno R
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Strains of Lactobacillus plantarum were grown and stored in cherry (ChJ), pineapple (PJ), carrot (CJ), and tomato (TJ) juices to mimic the chemical composition of the respective matrices. Wheat flour hydrolysate (WFH), whey milk (W), and MRS broth were also used as representatives of other ecosystems. The growth rates and cell densities of L. plantarum strains during fermentation (24 h at 30 degrees C) and storage (21 days at 4 degrees C) differed only in part, being mainly influenced by the matrix. ChJ and PJ were the most stressful juices for growth and survival. Overall, the growth in juices was negatively correlated with the initial concentration of malic acid and carbohydrates. The consumption of malic acid was noticeable for all juices, but mainly during fermentation and storage of ChJ. Decreases of branched-chain amino acids (BCAA)-with the concomitant increase of their respective branched alcohols-and His and increases of Glu and gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) were the main traits of the catabolism of free amino acids (FAA), which were mainly evident under less acidic conditions (CJ and TJ). The increase of Tyr was found only during storage of ChJ. Some aldehydes (e.g., 3-methyl-butanal) were reduced to the corresponding alcohols (e. g., 3-methyl-1-butanol). After both fermentation and storage, acetic acid increased in all fermented juices, which implied the activation of the acetate kinase route. Diacetyl was the ketone found at the highest level, and butyric acid increased in almost all fermented juices. Data were processed through multidimensional statistical analyses. Except for CJ, the juices (mainly ChJ) seemed to induce specific metabolic traits, which differed in part among the strains. This study provided more in-depth knowledge on the metabolic mechanisms of growth and maintenance of L. plantarum in vegetable and fruit habitats, which also provided helpful information to select the most suitable starters for fermentation of targeted matrices.