Characterization and Enzyme Activities of Microorganisms from a Traditional Cassava Starter

Fourteen strains responsible for the fermentation of cassava dough during Adjoukrou attieke production were investigated for enzyme activities in relation with the food properties to elucidate their possible roles during the process. Selected strains were phenotypically characterized and α-amylase, β-glucosidase and pectinase activities were measured using synthetic substrates. The influence of pH and temperature on enzyme activities and microbial growth were also tested. The results showed that the yeast strainCandida tropicalis LVX14 had the best amylase activity (144±3.3 U mL-1) at 30°C and pH 5. Lactic acid bacteria, particularlyLeuconostocmes. ssp. mesenteroide/dextranicum LABX2 showed the highest β-glucosidase activity with 69.4±13.29 U mL-1 at 35°C for pH 6 while Bacillus amyloliquefaciens BX5 and Rhizopus oryzae MX4 showed responsibilities in the softening by producing pectinase activities of 0.215±0.02 U mL-1 at 35°C and pH 6 and 30°C at pH 5, respectively. This study allowed selecting four strains with particular metabolic characteristic and state condition of fermentation at 30°C for a pH between 5 and 6. The selected strains showed an interesting combination of enzyme activities, suggesting their possible usefulness as a mixed starter culture in a controlled attieke fermentation process.

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