Agricultural Research Centre of Finland, Food Research, FIN-31600 Jokioinen, Finland
Lactic acid bacteria (LAB) are extensively used in the manufacture of a wide variety of fermented dairy, meat, vegetable, bakery and wine products in the food and wine industry as well as in making silage for animal feed. Some LAB strains also have an increasingly important role as health-promoting probiotics. Molecular genetic research of LAB, focused mainly on the basic characterisation of traits essential for the industrial utilisation of these bacteria, forms a solid scientific basis for stabilisation, modification and improvement of these characteristics. The emphasis of this review is on the molecular genetic work done at the research laboratory of the author. Our research team is engaged on, two main projects: molecular genetic and biochemical characterisation of the proteolytic systems of industrial thermophilic lactobacilli and surface layer protein studies to develop protein production systems for food, feed, vaccine and diagnostic purposes.
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