It is arguable whether species of Bifidobacterium should be considered "involved" in food fermentations. Although they have a fermentative metabolism, these bacteria are not used in the manufacture of any fermented food, nor are they even found in most raw food materials. Rather, bifidobacteria are added to certain foods, mostly milk and fermented dairy products, strictly for their probiotic functions. The intestinal tract is their primary habitat, and their elevated presence in the human gastrointestinal tract is correlated with a reduced incidence of enteric infections and overall intestinal health.Bifidobacteria are now so frequently used as probiotic adjuncts in foods that they have become a commercially important product line for starter culture companies as ingredients in yogurt and other dairy culture formulations (Chapter 3).
There are more than twenty-five recognized species of Bifidobacterium (Figure 2-7), although only about ten are ordinarily used commercially as probiotics. These include Bifi-dobacterium bifidum, Bifidobacterium ado-lescentis, Bifidobacterium breve, Bifidobac-
terium infantis, Bifidobacterium lactis, and Bifidobacterium longum. For many years (until the 1970s), bifidobacteria were classified in the genus Lactobacillus. It is now clear that they are phylogenetically distinct from the lactic acid bacteria (Figure 2.2), and are in an en-
Bifidobacterium adolescentis Bifidobacterium dentium Bifidobacterium angulatum Bifidobacterium pseudocaten ulatum Bifidobacterium catenulatum Bifidobacterium subtile Bifidobacterium breve Bifidobacterium pseudolongum Bifidobacterium longum Bifidobacterium pullorum Bifidobacterium saeculare Bifidobacterium gallinarum Bifidobacterium bifidum Bifidobacterium scardovii Bifidobacterium minimum Bifidobacterium asteroides Bifidobacterium coryneforme Bifidobacterium indicum Bifidobacterium thermophilum Bifidobacterium boum Bifidobacterium magnum Bifidobacterium cuniculi Bifidobacterium gallicum Bifidobacterium animalis Bifidobacterium choerinum
Was this article helpful?
Discover How To Become Your Own Brew Master, With Brew Your Own Beer. It takes more than a recipe to make a great beer. Just using the right ingredients doesn't mean your beer will taste like it was meant to. Most of the time it’s the way a beer is made and served that makes it either an exceptional beer or one that gets dumped into the nearest flower pot.