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Streptococcus Thermophilus

Streptococcus Thermophilus

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Published by: darkbreaker3244 on Oct 15, 2011
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Streptococcus ThermophilusAs long ago as 1907, when Russian biologist and Nobel Prize winner Elie Metchnikoff wrote aboutlongevity research in his book The Prolongation of Life, the bacterial strain Streptococcus thermophiluswas known to promote gastrointestinal health. Streptococcus thermophilus, along with Lactobacillus bulgaricus, soon became the starter strains used to make yogurt. Today, these two probiotics are still usedin the production of true yogurt.Many of the yogurts sold in grocery stores are not this true yogurt. Some do not use the appropriate probiotic strains, as these are usually more expensive. Some do, but still pasteurize their product after theculturing process. Pasteurization destroys harmful bacteria, but it also destroys the beneficial organismssuch as Streptococcus thermophilus. Consumers can look for the National Yogurt Association’s Live &Active Cultures seal on packaged yogurt. This means the product did contain live cultures when it wasmade, although it is no guarantee that the beneficial bacteria will still be alive after shipping and storage.By purchasing a starter of Streptococcus thermophilus and Lactobacillus bulgaricus, yogurt can be madeat home with a simple recipe. These probiotic cultures are available most health food stores, online, andeven in the health food section of some grocery stores. Boil one quart of milk, preferably 2% or wholemilk, then remove it from heat and cool to between 104 degrees and 114 degrees. It is important to use asterile container to pour the milk into. Add a generous teaspoon—or the appropriate amount listed on the package instructions—of the yogurt starter. Stir, cover, and incubate at 104 to 110 degrees for six to tenhours. Refrigerate.This constant incubation temperature is a very important part of the process. Those that have troublemaintaining this temperature might want to consider purchasing a yogurt maker, which regulatestemperature.The process behind this yogurt production is beneficial to digestive health in a couple of ways. The good bacteria ferment the sugar in the milk, also known as lactose. The lactose is transformed into lactic acid,which is highly effective in preventing lactose intolerance. The production of the lactic acid reduces pHand results in the milk curdling and turning tart. This also prevents the growth of bacteria that causes food poisoning.Streptococcus thermophilus is used as a starter culture for dairy foods besides yogurt, includingMozzarella cheese. It is considered one of the most commercially important of the lactic acid bacteria.USDA statistics from 1998 showed that more than 2.24 billion pounds of Mozzarella cheese and 1.37 billion pounds of yogurt were produced, for almost five million dollars in consumer value. Today’s 40 billion dollar dairy industry relies more and more on Streptococcus thermophilus and other probioticstrains.The cell structure of Streptococcus thermophilus allows the bacteria to endure elevated temperatures,such as the many industrial dairy fermentation processes that require high temperatures. Streptococcusthermophilus also lacks genes which contain surface proteins. This is important because harmful bacteriause these surface proteins to attach to mucosal tissues and hide from the body’s defensive actions.Ongoing research and experimentation have improved the Streptococcus thermophilus strain even beyondits natural beneficial state. This improved strain is responsible for the consistent taste and texture of manydairy products. It also provides stable fermentation and a resilience to bacteriophage.Streptococcus thermophilus also produces exopolysaccharides. These are essential to the texture of fermented milk products and also to the production of reduced-fat dairy products that maintain similar characteristics to their full-fat counterparts. One of Streptococcus thermophilus’ unique abilities is that itcan break down casein, the protein in dairy products like cheese. It reduces them into small peptides andamino acids that are required for the maturation of textures and flavors in reduced-fat cheeses. Different bacterial strains produce cheeses with differing characteristics. Streptococcus thermophilus, for example, produces a low-moisture cheddar cheese with a minimal level of bitterness, good for very mild cheddar cheese. However, by combining bacterial strains with varying characteristics, a high quality, reduced-fatcheddar cheese may be produced that is very similar to regular, full-fat cheddar.In addition to the natural ability of Streptococcus thermophilus to prevent transformation of nitrates intocancer-causing nitrites, the bacterium has other exciting cancer-related applications. One strain which isundergoing exciting research is Streptococcus thermophilus TH-4. Chemotheraphy often causes intestinalmucositis, severe inflammation of primarily the small intestines which can be fatal. Although there are avariety of treatments for this condition, they often do not work.
A 2009 study in Adelaide, Australia has shown very positive results when Streptococcus thermophilusTH-4 was used to treat rats with mucositis caused by chemotherapy drugs. Rats responded to thetreatment by showing a normalization of healthy cell function in the affected areas and a significantreduction of distress to the tissue of the intestines.As research continues to produce varied strains of Streptococcus thermophilus, the usefulness of this probiotic seems limitless. Its effects on digestive and overall health have already been widelydocumented. Its benefits to cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy are beginning to be understood.Streptococcus thermophilus is one of the many reasons probiotics are changing the health industry.References:Awad, S. et al. (2005). Journal of Dairy Science. Application of Exopolysaccharide-Producing Cultures inReduced-Fat Cheddar Cheese: Composition and Proteolysis.European Bioinformatics Institute. (2009). Bacteria Genomes – Streptococcus Thermophilus.Taylor, John R. and Mitchell, Deborah. The Wonder of Probiotics. New York, NY: St. Martin’s Press,2007.Trenev, Natasha. Probiotics: Nature’s Internal Healers. Garden City Park, New York: AveryPublishingGroup, 1998.U.S. Department of Energy. Office of Science. (2009). Streptococcus thermophilus LMD-9.Whitford, E.J. et al. (2009). National Center for Biotechnology Information. Effects of Streptococcusthermophilus TH-4 on Intestinal Mucositis Induced by the Chemotherapeutic Agent, 5- Fluorouracil (5-FU).http://www.probiotic.org/streptococcus-thermophilus.htmStreptococcus thermophilus is one of the most commercially important of all lactic acid bacteriaStreptococcus thermophilus is a Gram-positive facultative anaerobe. It is a cytochrome-, oxidase- andcatalase-negative organism that is nonmotile, non-spore forming and homofermentative. Streptococcusthermophilus is an alpha-hemolytic species of the viridans group. It is also classified as a lactic acid bacteria (LAB).Streptococcus thermophilus was once described as a bacterium "marked more by the things which itcannot do than by it's positive actions" (Sherman, 1937). Although it may be certainly be true that S.thermophilus is physiologically and biochemically less versatile than other lactic acid bacteria, the realityis that this organism is actually very versatile. Research during the past two decades has revealed that S.thermophilus has properties that make it one of the most commercially important of all lactic acid bacteria. Streptococcus thermophilus is used, along with Lactobacillus spp., as a starter culture for themanufacture of several important fermented dairy foods, including yogurt and Mozzarella cheese.The substantial increase in production of Mozzarella cheese and yogurt have led not only to increased useof S. thermophilus cultures, but also to new demands on their performance and production requirements.Industrial strains, for example, should be insensitive to bacteriophage, have stabile fermentationcharacteristics, and produce products having consistent flavor and texture properties. Although researchon the physiology of S. thermophilus has revealed important information on some of these properties,including sugar and protein metabolism, polysaccharide production, and flavor generation, only recentlyhas the genetic basis for many of these traits been determined. Currently, several traits in S. thermophilushave been targeted for strain improvement programs.S. thermophilus has an important role as a probiotic, alleviating symptoms of lactose intolerance andother gastrointestinal disorders. Immunologist lie Metchnikoff, spoke highly about the possible health benefits of the lactic acid-bacteria (LAB) Lactobacillus bulgaricus and Streptococcus thermophilus in hiswritings at the turn of the last century. He wrote in his book, The Prolongation of Life, that consumptionof live bacteria, such as Lactobacillus bulgaricus and Streptococcus thermophilus, in the form of yogurtwas beneficial for gastrointestinal health, as well as for health in general, and for longevity. Some recentresearch suggests that certain live microorganisms may have immunomodulatory and anticarcinogeniceffects, as well as other health benefits. There is presently much active research focusing on thedevelopment of target-specific probiotics containing well-characterised bacteria that are selected for their health-enhancing characteristics. These new probiotics are entering the marketplace in the form of 
nutritional supplements and functional foods, such as yogurt functional food products.The genome of S. thermophilus is 1.8 Mb, making it among the smallest genomes of all lactic acid bacteria.Hierarchy Description:
Genus: Streptococcus
Species: thermophilus
Strain: LMG 18311Genome accession number: CP000023EMBL reference
Taxonomy: 264199
Genus: Streptococcus
Species: thermophilus
Strain: CNRZ1066Genome accession number: CP000024EMBL reference
Taxonomy: 299768References:http://genome.jgi-psf.org/draft_microbes/strth/strth.home.htmlhttp://www.biol.ucl.ac.be/gene/genome/http://www.pdrhealth.com/drug_info/nmdrugprofiles/nutsupdrugs/pro_0034.shtmlhttp://www.ebi.ac.uk/2can/genomes/bacteria/Streptococcus_thermophilus.htmlStreptococcus salivarius subsp. thermophilus (previous name Streptococcus thermophilus) is a Gram- positive bacteria and a homofermentative facultative anaerobe, of the viridans group. It tests negative for cytochrome, oxidase and catalase, and positive for alpha-hemolytic activity. It is non-motile and does notform endospores.It is also classified as a lactic acid bacterium. S. thermophilus is found in fermented milk products. It isnot a probiotic (it does not survive the stomach in healthy humans) and is generally used in the productionof yogurt, alongside Lactobacillus delbrueckii subsp. bulgaricus. The two species are synergistic, and S.thermophilus probably provides L. bulgaricus with folic acid and formic acid which it uses for purinesynthesis.UsesS. thermophilus is one of the most widely used bacteria in the dairy industry. USDA statistics from 1998showed that more than 1.02 billion kilograms of mozzarella cheese and 621 million kilograms of yogurtwere produced from S. thermophilus. Although its genus, Streptococcus, includes some pathogenicspecies, food industries consider S. thermophilus a safer bacterium than many other Streptococcusspecies. In fact, yogurt and cheese that contain live cultures of S. thermophilus are thought to be beneficial to health. Live cultures of S. thermophilus make it easier for people who are lactose-intolerantto digest dairy products. The bacteria break down lactose, the sugar in milk that lactose-intolerants finddifficult to digest.Yogurt productionAs long ago as the early 1900s, S. thermophilus has been used to make yogurt. Many of the yogurts soldin grocery stores today do not contain many live cultures of S. thermophilus because pasteurizationdestroys these beneficial organisms. Nonetheless, S. thermophilus is required by law to be present inyogurt. Its purpose is to turn lactose, the sugar in milk, into lactic acid. The increase in lactic acid turnsmilk into the gel-like structure characteristic of yogurt. NomenclatureStreptococcus derives from a Greek term meaning "twisted berry" and refers to the way the bacterium isgrouped in chains that resemble a string of beads. "Thermophilus" derives from the Greek term thermotitameaning "heat". It refers to an organism's ability to thrive at high temperatures.[Research[edit] Pathogenic potentialThe genus Streptococcus includes several pathogenic species, such as S. pneumoniae and S. pyogenes, but food industries consider S. thermophilus non-pathogenic. S. thermophilus is believed to have

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