European Food Research and Technology

, Volume 245, Issue 3, pp 569–579 | Cite as

Differences in the occurence and efficiency of antimicrobial compounds produced by lactic acid bacteria

  • Joana Salomskiene
  • Dovile JonkuvieneEmail author
  • Irena Macioniene
  • Asta Abraitiene
  • Jurate Zeime
  • Jurate Repeckiene
  • Lina Vaiciulyte-Funk
Original paper


To provide consumers with new, attractive, and healthy food products, chemical additives could be replaced by lactic acid bacteria (LAB). Twelve highly antagonistic LAB strains were screened to find the best manufacturers of antimicrobial agents and key components that ensure greater effectiveness of their antagonistic activity. The tested LAB strains appeared to produce and excrete natural antimicrobial compounds such as ethanol (0.27–0.87%), lactic (5.6–19.9 g/L), citric (0.3–3.3 g/L), benzoic (0.2–1.8 mg/L), and sorbic (0.1–1.2 mg/L) acids. The individual LAB strain showed strain-specific abilities to produce individual compounds: citric acid was observed for Streptococcus thermophilus 43, sorbic acid for Lactococcus lactis 140/2, and diacetyl for other L. lactis strains. Lactobacillus helveticus R reached the highest antimicrobial activity by the production of the largest amount of lactic acid, while L. lactis 140/2 achieved that by the complex of produced organic acids. Enterococcus faecium 41-2B was mostly effective protein producing strain (1.2 g/100 g); moreover, enterocins A and P coding genes with antimicrobial activity against Listeriamonocytogenes were found in these Enterococcus strains. Five LAB strains were characterized by containing 1–2 plasmids. The study demonstrated a delicate balance of natural antimicrobial synthesis; meanwhile, the insertion of some preservatives in the medium could not significantly decrease their antagonistic activity.


Lactic acid bacteria Antimicrobial compounds Antilisterial activity Plasmid DNA 


Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

J. Salomskiene, D. Jonkuviene, I. Macioniene, A. Abraitiene, J. Zeime, J. Repeckiene and L. Vaiciulyte-Funk state that there are no conflicts of interest.

Compliance with ethics requirements

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and /or national research committee.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Joana Salomskiene
    • 1
  • Dovile Jonkuviene
    • 1
    Email author
  • Irena Macioniene
    • 1
  • Asta Abraitiene
    • 2
  • Jurate Zeime
    • 1
  • Jurate Repeckiene
    • 3
  • Lina Vaiciulyte-Funk
    • 1
  1. 1.Food InstituteKaunas University of TechnologyKaunasLithuania
  2. 2.Institute of BiotechnologyVilnius UniversityVilniusLithuania
  3. 3.Nature Research Center, Institute of BotanyVilniusLithuania

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