Lactobacillus fermentum NCIMB 5221 has a greater ferulic acid production compared to other ferulic acid esterase producing Lactobacilli
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Ferulic acid (FA) is an antioxidant compound known to neutralize free radicals, such as reactive oxygen species (ROS). These free radicals have been shown to be involved in DNA damage, cancer and aging. The administration of FA, as an oral therapeutic is hampered by its absorption in the small intestine followed by its quick excretion. Colonic microbial enzymes have been shown to produce FA. In this article, selected Lactobacillus strains were screened for FA production by Ferulic Acid Esterase (FAE), as determined by the release of free FA from a natural substrate, ethyl ferulate (EFA). Using a MRS-EFA plate clearing assay, L. fermentum ATCC 11976, L. reuteri ATCC 23272 and L. fermentum NCIMB 5221 all showed clearance zones of 10mm in diameter, confirming FAE activity. Results show that L. fermentum NCIMB 5221 is the most efficient FA producing strain, producing 0.168±0.001mg/mL FA following 48 hours of incubation in 0.296mg/mL EFA. We also investigated the total antioxidant capacity of L. fermentum NCIMB 5221 when grown in culture. Results suggest that, due to its FA production, L. fermentum NCIMB 5221 has potential for use as a future therapeutic.
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