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Antifungal activity of yeasts and lactic acid bacteria isolated from cocoa bean fermentations

Ruggirello, Marianna, Nucera, Daniele, Cannoni, Marcella, Peraino, Andrea, Rosso, Franco, Fontana, Mauro, Cocolin, Luca, Dolci, Paola
Food research international 2019 v.115 pp. 519-525
Aspergillus, Candida, Lactobacillus fermentum, Lactobacillus plantarum, Penicillium, Saccharomyces cerevisiae, antifungal properties, biological control, cocoa beans, fermentation, fungal growth, lactic acid bacteria, proteins, screening, spoilage fungi, synergism, yeasts
The aim of this study was to select yeast and LAB strains to be used as a mean of biological control against fungal growth during cocoa fermentation process. Their antifungal activity was assessed against six spoilage fungi isolated from both fermented and dried cocoa beans and belonging to Aspergillus and Penicillium genera. An initial screening was carried out by using the overlay method where the plates were examined for fungi inhibition zone around LAB and yeast streaks. Then, the most active strains were studied in inhibition test in 96-well microplates where mould growth was measured by microplate reader at 490 nm. The nature of their antifungal strenght (organic acid and/or proteins) was also evaluated. The most promising candidates as biological agents belonged to the species Lactobacillus fermentum, Lactobacillus plantarum, Saccharomyces cerevisiae and Candida ethanolica and their antifungal strength was attributed mainly to organic acid production (for LAB) and proteinaceous compounds (for yeasts) or to their synergic effect.