Simultaneous production of raw starch degrading highly thermostable a-amylase and lactic acid by Lactobacillus fermentum 04BBA19
The widely used thermostable amylases were produced long time ago from Bacillus genus. Although, lactic acid bacteria (LAB) fermentation presents several advantages including the reduction of growth of pathogenic microorganisms, no study has yet reported thermostable amylases from lactic acid bacteria. An amylolytic LAB, Lactobacillus fermentum (04BBA19) isolated from starchy wastes of a soil sample from the western region of Cameroon was studied for amylase and lactic acid production. The bacterium exhibited maximal amylase and lactic acid production at temperature of 45°C, and within pH range of 4.0 to 6.5. Upon the optimization of various environmental and cultural conditions the yield of amylase and lactic acid reached 732.3±0.4 U/ml and 53.2±0.7 g/L respectively in fermented broth after 48 h of culture. The enzyme was identified as α-amylase, with a very high thermostability revealed by the retention of 100% of original activity after pre-incubation for 30 min at 80°C. The stability was improved significantly with the addition of 0.1% (w/v) CaCl2.2H2O; the half life of the enzyme in these conditions was 6 h at 80°C. Owing to its aptitude to exhibit a simultaneous production of thermostable amylase and lactic acid, L. fermentum (04BBA19) appeared as a potential candidate for the making of high density gruel from starchy material.
Key words: Lactic acid bacteria, thermostable a-amylase, lactic acid, fermentation, high density gruel.