Folate represents an essential nutritional component in human diet and involved in many metabolic pathways, its deficiency results in disorders like megaloblastic anemia and neural tube defects. The present study reports screening of lactic acid bacteria (LAB) with additional benefit towards folate production and their characterization for probiotic potential. 64 LABs isolated from human colostrums were subjected for further screening for extracellular folate production. Fourteen LAB isolates belonging to species L. plantarum(12) and L. rhamnosus(2) had folate production beyond 40µg/L, with highest being in L. plantarum CKR26 (74.2±2.8µg/L). These isolates were further characterized for the probiotic properties. Four L. plantarum isolates namely CKR5, CKR8, CKR12 and CKR28 confirmed to posses good probiotic potential. All four isolates exhibited broad spectrum of antibacterial activity towards eight bacterial pathogens tested and two among them CKR8 and CKR12 also had antifungal activity. Both CKR5 and CKR12 strains had relatively high folate production (58.6±3.8µg/L and 56.5±3.4µg/L) but CKR12 and CKR28 had additional antifungal activity. So, all the four folate producing L. plantarum strains can find their application as food supplement for adults and can also be included in weaning foods for infants, which aid in utilizing novel food products to provide natural folate.
Lactic acid bacteria, Colostrum, Folate, Probiotic properties
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