Odamaki T, Xiao JZ, Yonezawa S, Yaeshima T, Iwatsuki K. - - J Dairy Sci. 2011 Mar;94(3):1112-21

Improved viability of bifidobacteria in fermented milk by cocultivation with Lactococcus lactis subspecies lactis

The poor survival of probiotic bacteria in commercial yogurts may limit their potential to exert health benefits in humans. The objective was to improve the survival of bifidobacteria in fermented milk. Cocultivation with some strains of Lactococcus lactis ssp. lactis improved the survival of bifidobacteria in fermented milk during refrigerated storage. Studies on one strain, Lc. lactis ssp. lactis MCC866, showed that the concentrations of dissolved oxygen were kept lower in the cocultivated fermented milk during storage compared with monocultured Bifidobacterium longum BB536 or samples cocultured with another noneffective Lc. lactis ssp. lactis strain. Degradation of genomic DNA was suppressed in the cocultivating system with Lc. lactis ssp. lactis MCC866. Several genes that participated in protection from active oxygen species (e.g., genes coding for alkyl hydroperoxide reductase and Fe(2+) transport system) were expressed at higher levels during refrigerated storage in Lc. lactis ssp. lactis MCC 866 compared with another noneffective Lc. lactis ssp. lactis strain. Concentration of free iron ion was also lower in supernatants of fermented milk cocultivated with B. longum BB536 and Lc. lactis ssp. lactis MCC866. These results suggest that Lc. lactis ssp. lactis MCC 866 is potentially superior in reducing oxygen damage and consequently improves the survival of bifidobacteria in the cocultivating system. This cocultivation system is of industrial interest for producing fermented milk containing viable bifidobacteria with long shelf life.