Projects

Marina Filipa Paixão Domingos Lopes
Identification and Characterization of Lactic acid bacteria used to improve cheese quality and provide health benefits
Institution Center: CITA-A - Centro de Investigação e Tecnologias Agrárias dos Açores
E-Mail: marinadomingos@uac.pt
State: ongoing
Objectives:

“Cheese has been proven to be an optimal carrier product to deliver living probiotic cultures into the diet. Therefore, more knowledge is needed about the multifunctional properties and physiological functions of LAB and their application in cheeses. The project proposes to isolate and identify promising LAB strains with health promoting properties that may be used as starter or adjunct cultures in cheese production.

The objectives are:

  1. Isolation and identification of LAB strains from traditional artisanal cheeses.
  2. Investigate the potential of autochthonous LAB strains to be used as probiotic cultures in cottage type cheeses.
  3. Evaluate the possible immune modulating and immune stimulating effects of LAB strains and exopolysaccharide (EPS) production
  4. Establishing the potential of selected LAB strains as anti-genotoxic and anti-mutagenic, and its affect on the expression of genes codifying enzymes involved in the colon carcinogenesis process.
  5. Knowledge of the molecular mechanisms for anti-carcinogenic and immunostimulating activities and identification of genes involved.

To accomplish this target, the project will employ a wide range of methodologies targeted to obtain LAB with new health promoting qualities, for production of fresh and semi-hard cheese with nutritive and health promoting properties (functional cheese). Finally, we will aim to the creation of a strain-specific test (gen-chip) to monitor the presence of the desired new LAB strain in cultures.”