Unconventional bacterial association for dough leavening

Alida Musatti, Chiara Mapelli, Roberto Foschino, Claudia Picozzi, Manuela Rollini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The purpose of the research was to obtain innovative yeast-free doughs leavened by Zymomonas mobilis and Lactobacillus sanfranciscensis. Z. mobilis, as well as Saccharomyces cerevisiae, produces an equimolar mixture of ethanol and CO2 through glucose, fructose or sucrose fermentation. In the present work, the inability of Z. mobilis to metabolize maltose has been circumvented by the addition of L. sanfranciscensis in the formulation. Indeed, L. sanfranciscensis, a heterofermentative lactic acid bacterium (LAB) typical of sourdough environment, hydrolyzes maltose releasing glucose which can be used by Z. mobilis for its metabolism. Biomass samples of Z. mobilis subs. mobilis DSM 424 and L. sanfranciscensis DSM 20663 were grown separately in liquid media and then associated in a model dough. Leavening trials set up by using three different microbial combinations (Lactobacillus:Zymomonas 80 + 80 mg, 15 + 145 mg and 145 + 15 mg biomass, i.e. 1:1, 1:10 and 10:1 respectively on cell dry weight basis) evidenced CO2 production levels (mL) higher than the mathematical sum of CO2 produced by the single bacteria. In particular, when the biomass combination of L. sanfranciscensis and Z. mobilis was 1:1 (80 + 80 mg cdw) and 10:1 (145 + 15 mg cdw) a CO2 production of 46.3–41.4 mL versus 26.7–28.5 mL was achieved. The calculated productivity gain showed positive performances of the microbial combination up to 180–240 min leavening. The subsequent efficiency loss may be due several factors, above all glucose shortage for Z. mobilis, as well as decrease of dough pH that can negatively affect both Lactobacillus and Zymomonas metabolism. As in traditional sourdoughs, L. sanfranciscensis was responsible for the souring activity with positive effects on both dough tasting and reduction of spoilage microbiota; Z. mobilis was instead responsible for most of the CO2 production. A bakery product leavened with the unconventional association Z. mobilis - L. sanfranciscensis will be addressed to people having adverse responses to the ingestion of bakery goods, thus providing innovation in the area of yeast-free leavened food.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)28-34
Number of pages7
JournalInternational Journal of Food Microbiology
Publication statusPublished - Nov 21 2016


  • Bacterial association
  • Dough-model system
  • Lactobacillus sanfranciscensis
  • Yeast intolerance
  • Yeast-free products
  • Zymomonas mobilis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Microbiology
  • Medicine(all)
  • Safety, Risk, Reliability and Quality


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