- Leuconostoc and Its Use in Dairy Technology
The genus Leuconostoc is a member of the lactic acid bacteria (LAB) that has been less studied than others such as Lactococcus and Lactobacillus, although speci…c properties are of great importance in numerous foods and feed fermentation processes. Leuconostoc was de…ned by van Tieghem in 1878 for dextran-producing bacteria that develop in the sugar industry. In the dairy …eld, Storch initiated studies on dairy starters 140 years ago in Denmark. His main aim was to obtain cultures that could be used to ensure a cream fermentation resulting in aroma butter. It took him 30 years to …nally isolate in 1911 the aroma bacterium “X,” which was for a long time called Betacoccus cremoris and later identi-…ed as Leuconostoc. He was never pleased with his de…ned starters because artisan cultures that were exchanged among creameries generally proved to be superior aroma producers (see the detailed history in Knudsen 1931). This example shows that the importance of Leuconostoc sp. in dairy products was recognized quite early. Furthermore, the isolation and culture of the dairy species need good basic knowledge of these bacteria.