Abstract The present study was carried out to investigate the effects of low intensity ultrasound (20% and 30% amplitudes for 3 min and 5 min) on the growth kinetics and metabolic activity of Lactococcus lactis subsp. Lactis. The results revealed that the viable cell counts increased by 6.21–21.82% under ultrasound treatment. Confocal scanning laser microscopy showed 3.03–22.88% reduction in the percentage of intact cells after ultra-sonication. The specific growth rate of ultrasonicated L. lactis subsp. Lactis also increased by 7.09–23.22%. The pH values and titratable acidity were lower and higher, respectively, for most treatments. The treatments increased β-galactosidase activity. This was accompanied with a faster rate in lactic acid yield. The protein concentrations significantly decreased with increasing ultrasound amplitude and duration of irradiation, whilst at the same conditions the degree of protein hydrolysis was higher. Results suggest that ultrasound can stimulate the growth of L. lactis subsp. Lactis and its metabolic activity. Therefore, ultrasound can potentially play a significant role in stimulating fermentative activities of starter cultures and may successfully be employed in fermentation industries.
S. Shokri, S. Shekarforoush, S. Hosseinzadeh