Improving the Stress Tolerance of Probiotic Cultures: Recent Trends and Future Directions

  • Aditya Upadrasta
  • Catherine Stanton
  • Colin Hill
  • Gerald F. Fitzgerald
  • R. Paul Ross
Part of the Food Microbiology and Food Safety book series (FMFS)


The human intestinal microbiota is considered an “organ” of the gastrointestinal tract (GIT) that plays a role in the host’s digestive process, epithelial cell development, and regulation of innate immunity, thereby contributing to host health. One way of modulating the gut microbiota is by the consumption of probiotics, in particular, products containing Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium spp. In this context, these micro-organisms have been extensively studied with respect to health promotion in humans and animals. In recent years, functional foods containing probiotics have become popular within the food industry due to the heightened awareness of consumers toward these health-promoting foods. Probiotic bacteria must survive during food processing and production, and retain viability after reaching the GIT, to deliver their therapeutic effect to the host. In this chapter, we discuss the classical approaches used for strain improvement, such as strain selection, nutritional programming, processing conditions, and the selection of matrices for the delivery of probiotic bacteria to the GIT. We also detail potential future strategies for improvement of probiotic survival, in particular, the application of whole-genome sequencing and metagenomics to generate molecular maps and gene catalogs of health-promoting bacteria. These will be useful for the identification of potential genes in bacterial genomes that play important roles in stress responses. Combinations of classical and molecular approaches have the potential to enhance the survival of probiotics and to help win their battle against stress.


Lactic Acid Bacterium Conjugate Linoleic Acid Probiotic Bacterium Probiotic Strain Glycine Betaine 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



AU was supported by a Teagasc Walsh Fellowship. This work was supported by Enterprise Ireland, the Irish Department of Agriculture and Food under the National Development Plan (2000–2006), and Science Foundation Ireland Centre for Science Engineering and Technology (SFI CSET).


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Aditya Upadrasta
    • 1
    • 2
  • Catherine Stanton
    • 1
    • 3
  • Colin Hill
    • 2
    • 3
  • Gerald F. Fitzgerald
    • 2
    • 3
  • R. Paul Ross
    • 1
    • 3
  1. 1.Teagasc, Moorepark Food Research CentreCo CorkIreland
  2. 2.Department of MicrobiologyUniversity College CorkCorkIreland
  3. 3.Alimentary Pharmabiotic CentreCorkIreland

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