Antioxidant Activity of Whey from Milk Fermented with Lactobacillus Species Isolated from Nigerian Fermented Foods 

Akinniyi Osuntoki* and Ifeoma Korie

Department of Biochemistry, College of Medicine, University of Lagos, P.M.B. 12003, Lagos, Nigeria

Article history:

Received March 16, 2010
Accepted June 4, 2010

Key words:

antioxidant activity, DPPH· scavenging activity, fermented foods, lipid peroxidation, probiotics, whey


Eight Lactobacillus isolates obtained from five indigenous fermented foods (ogi, ogi baba, wara, kunnu and ugba) were investigated. Wara is a dairy-based food while the others are not dairy-based. The bacteria were isolated on MRS agar and purified by successive streaking on the same medium. The whey fraction of skimmed milk fermented with each isolate was assayed for radical scavenging effects using 2,2-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH) radical. All the whey fractions showed radical scavenging activities. The five isolates with the highest activities were selected. On the basis of Gram stain reaction, cellular morphology, biochemical tests and carbohydrate utilization profiles they were identified as strains of Lactobacillus brevis, L. fermentum, L. plantarum, L. casei and L. delbrueckii. The antioxidant activities of whey fractions from 24-hour fermentations with the selected organisms were investigated using both radical scavenging effects and lipid peroxidation inhibitory activity. The radical scavenging activity was generally higher than the lipid peroxidation inhibition, except in the L. plantarum strain, which did not show any significant difference in both activities. The probiotic potential of the isolates was evaluated by pH and bile tolerance. None of the selected isolates showed any growth at pH=2.0 but L. casei and L. delbrueckii survived at this pH. Four of the five selected isolates were able to grow in 0.5 % dehydrated bile, with L. casei strain showing the highest level of growth, followed by L. delbrueckii. L. plantarum strain was not bile tolerant. The ability of L. casei and L. delbrueckii strains to survive at pH=2 and grow in the presence of bile indicates that the isolates may be able to colonize the gastrointestinal tract. The findings of this study indicate that Lactobacillus strains isolated from indigenous Nigerian fermented foods could be useful as starter cultures to provide antioxidants in food and that fermented milk may serve as a delivery vehicle for antioxidative, probiotic lactobacilli from non-dairy sources.


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