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Extracellular polysaccharide extraction from Streptococcus thermophilus in fermented milk

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posted on 2023-05-03, 19:12 authored by Yunchao Wa, Ryan Chanyi, Hanh Nguyen, Ruixia Gu, Li DayLi Day, Eric Altermann
Lactic acid bacteria such as Streptococcus thermophilus are known to produce extracellular polysaccharide (EPS) in fermented foods that enhance the creaminess and mouthfeel of the product, such as yogurt. Strains producing larger amounts of EPS are highly sought-after, and therefore, robust and accurate quantification methodologies are important. This study found that two commonly used methodologies significantly underestimated the amount of EPS produced as measured using a milk matrix. To this end, a proteolytic step was implemented prior to EPS extraction (Method C). An initial proteolytic step using xanthan gum-spiked milk significantly increased recovery yield to 64%, compared to 27.8% for Method A and 34.3% for Method B. Method C showed no improvement when assessed using a chemically defined medium. Method C was further validated using three strains of S. thermophilus with varying EPS-production capabilities (STLOW, STMID, STHIGH). Overall, Method C demonstrated significant improvements in the EPS extraction yield for all three S. thermophilus strains in fermented milk. On average, Method C improved isolation yield by ∼3- to 6-fold compared with Method A and by ∼2- to 3-fold compared with method B. There were no significant differences between samples when they were grown in a chemically defined medium, highlighting the importance of a proteolytic step specifically for fermented milk samples. In commercial applications, accurate quantification of EPS-production is an important aspect when finding new strains.


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© 2022 Wa et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International license.


  • English

Does this contain Māori information or data?

  • No


American Society for Microbiology

Journal title

Microbiology Spectrum




Wa, Y., Chanyi, R. M., Nguyen, H. T. H., Gu, R., Day, L., & Altermann, E. (2022). Extracellular polysaccharide extraction from Streptococcus thermophilus in fermented milk. Microbiology Spectrum, 10(2), e02280–21.

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