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Biosurfactant production by thermophilic dairy streptococci

Busscher, H.J., Neu, T.R., Mei, H.C. van der.
Applied microbiology and biotechnology 1994 v.41 no.1 pp. 4-7
Streptococcus thermophilus, strains, thermophilic bacteria, surfactants, antifouling agents, biological production, cell culture, culture media
Biosurfactant production of eight Streptococcus thermophilus strains, isolated from heat exchanger plates in the downstream side of the regenerator section of pasteurizers in the dairy industry has been measured using axisymmetric drop shape analysis by profile (ADSA-P). Strains were grown in M17 broth with either lactose, saccharose or glucose added. After harvesting, cells were suspended in water or in 10 mM potassium phosphate buffer, pH 7.0, and suspension droplets were put on a piece of FEP-Teflon. Changes in droplet profile were analysed by ADSA-P to yield the surface tension decrease due to biosurfactant production as a function of time. Surface tension decreases larger than 8 mJ.m-2 were taken as indicative of biosurfactant production. Only five strains produced biosurfactants in water, solely when saccharose was added to the growth medium. In buffer, all strains produced biosurfactants and production was generally greater than in water. Also, most strains suspended in buffer produced maximally when saccharose was added to the growth medium, whereas one strain produced maximally in buffer upon the addition of glucose. Four strains suspended in buffer produced biosurfactants when glucose was added and only two strains when lactose was added. The possible role of these biosurfactants as anti-adhesives in the dairy industry and for the survival of these strains in natural systems is discussed.