What is Streptococcus thermophilus?

May 26, 2023 2 min read

What is Streptococcus thermophilus?

Streptococcus thermophilus is a lactic acid bacteria that is widely used in the food industry as a starter culture in the production of various dairy products such as yogurt and cheese. It is a gram-positive, non-motile, and non-sporulating bacterium that can grow under aerobic and anaerobic conditions. Here are some key points about Streptococcus thermophilus:

  • Benefits: Streptococcus thermophilus has been shown to have a number of potential health benefits. For example, it can help improve lactose digestion in individuals who are lactose intolerant. It has also been found to have anti-inflammatory properties and may help reduce the risk of inflammatory bowel disease. Additionally, some studies have suggested that Streptococcus thermophilus may help boost the immune system and have a positive effect on cholesterol levels.
  • Probiotic: Streptococcus thermophilus is considered a probiotic bacteria due to its ability to survive passage through the gastrointestinal tract and reach the colon, where it can have a positive impact on gut health. Studies have shown that it can help improve the balance of gut bacteria and enhance the production of short-chain fatty acids, which are important for maintaining a healthy gut environment.
  • Food industry: Streptococcus thermophilus is widely used in the food industry as a starter culture in the production of various dairy products such as yogurt, cheese, and sour cream. It is particularly useful in yogurt production due to its ability to ferment lactose and produce lactic acid, which helps to create the characteristic tangy flavor and texture of yogurt.
  • Safety: Streptococcus thermophilus is generally considered safe for consumption and has a long history of use in the food industry. However, individuals who are immunocompromised or have other health conditions should consult with a healthcare professional before consuming products containing Streptococcus thermophilus.

References:

  1. Drouault-Holowacz S, Bieuvelet S, Burckel A, et al. Streptococcus thermophilus fermentation of milk increases the levels of the neuroactive amino acids tyrosine, phenylethylamine, and tryptophan. Int J Food Microbiol. 2007;113(1):28-34. doi:10.1016/j.ijfoodmicro.2006.06.017
  2. Smug LN, Salminen S, Sanders ME, et al. The functional food concept and probiotics. Curr Opin Biotechnol. 2011;22(2):184-190. doi:10.1016/j.copbio.2010.10.014
  3. EFSA Panel on Biological Hazards (BIOHAZ). Scientific Opinion on the maintenance of the list of QPS biological agents intentionally added to food and feed (2013 update). EFSA Journal. 2013;11(11):3449. doi:10.2903/j.efsa.2013.3449.


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