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Exploitation of autochthonous Tuscan sourdough yeasts as potential starters

Palla, Michela, Agnolucci, Monica, Calzone, Antonella, Giovannetti, Manuela, Di Cagno, Raffaella, Gobbetti, Marco, Rizzello, Carlo Giuseppe, Pontonio, Erica
International journal of food microbiology 2019 v.302 pp. 59-68
Kazachstania, Saccharomyces cerevisiae, antioxidant activity, baked goods, beverages, biotypes, durum wheat, enzyme activity, fermentation, free amino acids, phytases, probiotics, sourdough, wheat flour, yeasts
The increasing demand for healthy baked goods boosted studies on sourdough microbiota with beneficial metabolic traits, to be used as potential functional starters. Here, yeast populations of traditional sourdoughs collected from four Tuscan bakeries were investigated. Among 200 isolated strains, 78 were randomly selected and molecularly characterized. Saccharomyces cerevisiae was dominant, representing the only species detected in three out of the four sourdoughs. The fourth one harbored also Kazachstania humilis. Inter-delta regions analysis revealed a high intraspecific polymorphism discriminating 16 biotypes of S. cerevisiae isolates, which clustered based on their origin. Representative isolates from each biotype group were individually used to ferment soft and durum wheat flour, aiming at evaluating their pro-technological, nutritional and functional features. During fermentation under standardized conditions, all strains were able to grow of ca. 2 log cycles, but only S. cerevisiae L10Y, D18Y and D20Y had a significantly shorter latency phase in both flours. Overall, the highest volumes were reached after 16 h of fermentation in both soft and durum fermented dough. S. cerevisiae D2Y produced the highest dough volume increase. K. humilis G23Y was the only strain able to increase the total free amino acids concentration of the doughs. Overall, values of phytase activity were significantly higher in durum compared to the corresponding soft fermented dough. K. humilis G23Y and S. cerevisiae D20Y, D24Y showed a threefold higher phytase activity than spontaneously fermented control, and the highest concentration of total phenols. Almost all the strains led to increases of antioxidant activity, without significant differences among them. Investigations on the resistance of the strains to simulated gastric and intestinal conditions, that is considered a pre-requisite for the selection of probiotics, revealed the ability to survive in vitro by many of the strains considered. This study proposed the best performing yeast strains selected among autochthonous sourdough yeasts based on their pro-technological, nutritional and functional traits to be used as starters for making sourdough baked goods or functional cereal-based beverages. Although some yeast strains combined several technological and nutritional traits, the association of more selected strains seemed to be a requisite to get optimal sourdough characteristics.