IMR Press / FBE / Volume 16 / Issue 1 / DOI: 10.31083/j.fbe1601007
Open Access Original Research
Traditional Bulgarian Fermented Foods as a Source of Beneficial Lactic Acid Bacteria
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1 Department of General and Industrial Microbiology, Faculty of Biology, Sofia University “St. Kliment Ohridski”, 1164 Sofia, Bulgaria
*Correspondence:; (Yoana K. Kizheva)
Front. Biosci. (Elite Ed) 2024, 16(1), 7;
Submitted: 10 November 2023 | Revised: 30 November 2023 | Accepted: 11 January 2024 | Published: 11 March 2024
Copyright: © 2024 The Author(s). Published by IMR Press.
This is an open access article under the CC BY 4.0 license.

Background: Traditional Bulgarian fermented foods are prominent for their uniqueness of local ingredients, production methods, and endemic microbial species. The present research investigated the diversity and beneficial biological potential of lactic acid bacteria (LAB) isolated from various types of unique Bulgarian fermented foods. Methods: Species identification was performed via 16S rDNA sequencing. Biological activity was evaluated by determining antibacterial activity (via agar well diffusion assay), H2O2 production, spectrophotometrically determined auto- and co-aggregation, microbial adhesion to hydrocarbon, and biofilm formation. The biosafety of the isolated lactic acid bacteria was established based on hemolytic activity and phenotypic and genotypic antibiotic susceptibility. Results: Forty-five strains were isolated from fermented foods (sauerkraut, fermented green tomatoes, fermented cucumbers, kefir, white cheese, and Izvara (curdled milk)). Five species were detected: Lactiplantibacillus plantarum, Levilactobacillus koreensis, Levilactobacillus brevis, Lactobacillus helveticus, and Levilactobacillus yonginensis. The most prominent species was L. plantarum, at 47%. For the first time, L. koreensis and L. yonginensis, isolated from unique Bulgarian fermented foods, are reported in this study. The antibacterial effect of the cell-free supernatants was evaluated. An antagonistic effect was observed against Escherichia coli (57%) and Salmonella enterica subsp. enterica serotype Enteritidis (19%) for several L. plantarum strains. Only one L. brevis (Sauerkraut, S15) strain showed activity against E. coli. The best autoaggregation ability at hour 4 was observed for L. koreensis (fermented cucumbers, FC4) (48%) and L. brevis S2 (44%). The highest percentage of co-aggregation with Candida albicans, at hou 4 in the experiments, was observed for strains L. koreensis (fermented green tomato, FGT1) (70%), L. plantarum strains S2 (54%), S13 (51%), and S6 (50%), while at hour 24 for strains L. koreensis FGT1 (95%), L. brevis (Kefir, K7) (89%), L. plantarum S2 (72%), and L. koreensis FC2 (70%). Seven of the isolated LAB strains showed hydrophobicity above 40%. Our results showed that the ability of biofilm formation is strain–dependent. No hemolytic activity was detected. The antibiotic resistance to 10 antibiotics from different groups was tested phenotypically and genotypically. No amplification products were observed in any strains, confirming that the isolates did not carry antibiotic-resistance genes. Conclusions: Traditional fermented Bulgarian foods can be considered functional foods and beneficial LAB sources.

lactic acid bacteria
functional foods
beneficial bacteria
antibacterial potential
acquired-antibiotic resistance
80-10-30/ 20.04.2023/Sofia University “St. Kliment Ohridski”
Fig. 1.
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