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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

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Research Project: Functional Food Development by Microbial Biotechnology

Location: Dairy and Functional Foods

Project Number: 1935-41000-088-00
Project Type: Appropriated

Start Date: Jun 04, 2010
End Date: Jun 03, 2015

Objective:
Identify food-grade lactic fermentation and probiotic microorganisms that produce unique bioactive peptides and proteins with potential applications as functional food ingredients. 1a. Identify natural antimicrobial products of food grade microbes to protect foods against spoilage and hazardous microorganisms. 1b. Identify antimicrobial products of food grade bacteria useful in functional food applications to reduce the risk of dental caries (caused by streptococci) and bacterial skin infections (caused by propionibacteria). 1c. Identify and develop food-grade microbes for the production of bioactive components of natural proteins of animal and plant origin to reduce the risk of chronic health problems (obesity/cancer) and to enhance immune responses to infections. 1d. Modify and adapt available gene technologies and production parameters to maximize output of bioactive peptides and proteins. Develop microbial technologies to produce or co-produce unique bioactive peptides and proteins to improve food functionality and for use in functional foods. 2a. Develop microbial technologies for the production and co-production of compatible bioprotective (pathogen control), antitumor (cancer cell control) and health promoting (oral hygiene, stomach ulcers, skin infections) gene products in food fermentation and probiotic microbes. 2b. Develop microbial technologies for the transfer of capacity for functional food ingredient production to other bacteria used as essential starter cultures by dairy food industries. 2c. Develop, modify and adapt strategies to assure culture survival and retain efficacy of bioactive ingredients in functional foods and non-food products (oral hygiene, and skin health). Develop plant cell wall oligosaccharide-based prebiotics from agricultural processing residues rich in pectins and hemicelluloses and test the hypothesis that prebiotics can selectively promote the growth of gut bacteria associated with lean tissue growth to potentially control obesity. 3a. Conduct in vivo analysis of candidate prebiotics. 3b. Discover new pectic and hemicellulosic prebiotics. 3c. Determine if prebiotics can alter the colonic microflora to potentially control obesity. Screen plant cell wall oligosaccharides for biological activity (anti-adhesion of pathogenic bacteria, immunomodulation, induction of apoptosis).

Approach:
Lactic fermentation and probiotic cultures will be screened for the production of bioactive peptide and protein products that improve the nutritional quality and functionality of foods and also protect foods by controlling the growth of contaminating bacteria. Natural peptide products also will be tested for effects on abnormal cell proliferation and induction of immune response in selected animal cell cultures to explore possible applications in the improvement of human health. Microbial biotechnology, enzyme, genetic and proteomic technologies will be designed or adapted for developing lactic fermentation and probiotic cultures (streptococci, lactococci and lactobacilli) as microbial cell factories for the larger-scale production of potentially useful bioactive peptide and protein gene products. The effects of prebiotic formulations on the growth and productivity of lactic fermentation and probiotic bacteria in milk environments will be evaluated in prototype food systems. In addition, culture performance in whey effluents of cheese manufacturing will be assessed and improved.

Last Modified: 4/20/2014
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