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Brazilian Journal of Microbiology

versão impressa ISSN 1517-8382

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MAGALHAES, Karina Teixeira et al. Brazilian kefir: structure, microbial communities and chemical composition. Braz. J. Microbiol. [online]. 2011, vol.42, n.2, pp.693-702. ISSN 1517-8382.  http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S1517-83822011000200034.

Microbial ecology and chemical composition of Brazilian kefir beverage was performed. The microorganisms associated with Brazilian kefir were investigated using a combination of phenotypic and genotypic methods. A total of 359 microbial isolates were identified. Lactic acid bacteria (60.5%) were the major isolated group identified, followed by yeasts (30.6%) and acetic acid bacteria (8.9%). Lactobacillus paracasei (89 isolates), Lactobacillus parabuchneri (41 isolates), Lactobacillus casei (32 isolates), Lactobacillus kefiri (31 isolates), Lactococcus lactis (24 isolates), Acetobacter lovaniensis (32 isolates), Kluyveromyces lactis (31 isolates), Kazachstania aerobia (23 isolates), Saccharomyces cerevisiae (41 isolates) and Lachancea meyersii (15 isolates) were the microbial species isolated. Scanning electron microscopy showed that the microbiota was dominated by bacilli (short and curved long) cells growing in close association with lemon-shaped yeasts cells. During the 24 h of fermentation, the protein content increased, while lactose and fat content decreased. The concentration of lactic acid ranged from 1.4 to 17.4 mg/ml, and that of acetic acid increased from 2.1 to 2.73 mg/ml. The production of ethanol was limited, reaching a final mean value of 0.5 mg/ml.

Palavras-chave : Lactobacillus; Saccharomyces; fermented beverage; Brazilian kefir grains.

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