Microbiological characterization of wet wheat distillers' grain, with focus on isolation of lactobacilli with potential as probiotics

C Pedersen, H Jonsson, J E Lindberg, S Roos

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

76 Citations (Scopus)


Wet wheat distillers' grain (WWDG), a residue from ethanol fermentation, was examined from a microbiological perspective. After storage, WWDG was characterized by a high content of lactobacilli, nondetectable levels of other bacteria, occasional occurrence of yeasts, and a pH of about 3.6 and contained a mixture of lactic acid, acetic acid, and ethanol. The composition of lactobacilli in WWDG was simple, including primarily the species Lactobacillus amylolyticus, Lactobacillus panis, and Lactobacillus pontis, as determined by 16S rRNA gene sequencing. Since the use of WWDG as pig feed has indicated a health-promoting function, some relevant characteristics of three strains of each of these species were examined together with basal physiological parameters, such as carbohydrate utilization and growth temperature. Seven of the strains were isolated from WWDG, and two strains from pig feces were included for comparison. It was clear that all three species could grow at temperatures of 45 to 50 degrees C, with L. amylolyticus being able to grow at temperatures as high as 54 degrees C. This finding could be the explanation for the simple microflora of WWDG, where a low pH together with a high temperature during storage would select for these organisms. Some strains of L. panis and L. pontis showed prolonged survival at pH 2.5 in synthetic stomach juice and good growth in the presence of porcine bile salt. In addition, members of all three species were able to bind to immobilized mucus material in vitro. Especially the isolates from pig feces but, interestingly, some isolates from WWDG as well possessed properties that might be of importance for colonization of the gastrointestinal tracts of pigs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1522-7
Number of pages6
JournalApplied and Environmental Microbiology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2004


  • Animal Feed
  • Animals
  • Base Sequence
  • DNA, Bacterial
  • Ethanol
  • Fermentation
  • Lactobacillus
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Probiotics
  • RNA, Bacterial
  • RNA, Ribosomal, 16S
  • Sus scrofa
  • Triticum
  • Journal Article
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

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