Food microbiology

Levansucrase and sucrose phoshorylase contribute to raffinose, stachyose, and verbascose metabolism by lactobacilli.

PMID 22608234


Raffinose family oligosaccharides (RFOs) in food are considered anti-nutritional factors. This study elucidated the role of α-galactosidase (α-Gal), levansucrase, and sucrose phosphorylase for conversion of RFOs by lactobacilli. Quantification of gene expression by reverse-transcriptase quantitative PCR revealed that expression of levansucrase and sucrose phosphorylase by Lactobacillus reuteri is increased more than 100 fold when sucrose or raffinose are available. Fava bean (Vicia faba) or field pea (Pisum sativum) flours were fermented with α-Gal positive L. reuteri or α-Gal negative Lactobacillus sanfranciscensis. Isogenic strains lacking levansucrase activity, a L. reuteri ftfA mutant and a L. sanfranciscensis levS mutant, were used for comparison. During growth in pulse flours, L. sanfranciscensis accumulated melibiose and α-galactooligosaccharides (α-GOSs); the levansucrase-negative strain did not grow. L. reuteri metabolized raffinose, stachyose, and verbascose by levansucrase activity and accumulated α-GOSs as metabolic intermediates. Oligosaccharide metabolism in the levansucrase-negative mutant was slower, and accumulation of α-GOSs was not observed. The use of sorghum sourdough fermented with L. reuteri LTH5448 and bean flour in gluten-free baking converted RFOs to α-GOSs by levansucrase and invertase activities. In conclusion, the elucidation of the role levansucrase in RFO metabolism by lactobacilli allowed the conversion or hydrolysis of RFOs in food fermentations.