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Inhibition of Fusarium culmorum by carboxylic acids released from lactic acid bacteria in a barley malt substrate

Peyer, Lorenzo C., Axel, Claudia, Lynch, Kieran M., Zannini, Emanuele, Jacob, Fritz, Arendt, Elke K.
Food control 2016 v.69 pp. 227-236
Fusarium culmorum, Lactobacillus brevis, Lactobacillus plantarum, antifungal agents, barley, broths, carboxylic acids, conidia, fermentation, fungi, lactic acid bacteria, malt extract, malting barley, microbial growth, minimum inhibitory concentration, phenolic acids, synergism, temperature
The effect of carboxylic acids, composed by both organic and phenolic acids, released in a barley malt substrate fermented by lactic acid bacteria was tested against Fusarium culmorum macroconidia and compared under different fermentation conditions. Phenolic acids released by Lactobacillus plantarum FST1.7 and Lactobacillus brevis R2Δ were quantified using a QuEChERS method coupled with a HPLC-UV/PDA system. Their concentration improved with increasing extract content of the barley malt-based substrate and reached maximal concentrations after 48 h of fermentation performed at optimum growth temperature. Generally, phenolic acids were produced at levels far below their minimal inhibitory concentration (MIC), and limited synergistic effects were observed when mixed with organic acids. The fungal growth suppression by the wort fermented by Lb. brevis R2Δ (95 ± 9 h total inhibition) could be fully explained by the presence of antifungal carboxylic acids, whereas only partially accounted for Lb. plantarum FST1.7 (198 ± 19 h). Organic acids were mainly responsible for the ability of LAB fermented wort to cause fungal inhibition, whereas phenolic acids took only a secondary role at the low concentrations released. Longer fermentation times favoured primarily organic acid release, whereas fermentation of higher malt extract substrates encouraged both organic and phenolic acids production. The understanding on how synergy works between antifungal compounds could help to identify strategies to further increase their concentration in wort, with potential to replace synthetic broths and for direct application in food application.