• fermentation;
  • isoflavones;
  • lactic acid bacteria;
  • soymilk

ABSTRACT:  Four lactic acid bacteria (LAB), Lactobacillus paraplantarum KM, Enterococcus durans KH, Streptococcus salivarius HM and Weissella confusa JY, were isolated from humans and tested for their capabilities of converting isoflavone glucosides to aglycones in soymilk. Changes in growth, pH, and titratable acidity (TA) were investigated during fermentation at 37 °C for 12 h. After 6 to 9 h of fermentation, each population of 4 LAB reached 108 to 109 CFU/mL. The initial pH of 6.3 ± 0.1 decreased while the TA of 0.13%± 0.01% increased as fermentation proceeded, resulting in the final range between 4.1 ± 0.2 and 4.6 ± 0.1 for pH and between 0.51%± 0.02% and 0.67%± 0.06% for TA after the 12 h of fermentation. The glucoside concentrations were significantly decreased in soymilks fermented with either L. paraplantarum KM, S. salivarius HM, or W. confusa JY with fermentation time (P < 0.05). L. paraplantarum KM was the best in percent conversion of glucosides to corresponding aglycones, resulting in 100%, 90%, and 61% hydrolysis of genistin, daidzin, and glycitin, respectively, in 6 h. Consequently, the aglycone concentrations in soymilk fermented with L. paraplantarum KM were 6 and 7-fold higher than the initial levels of daidzein and genistein, respectively, after 6 h of fermentation. Changes in the daidzin and genistin levels were not significant in soymilk fermented with E. durans KH. The rates of hydrolysis of glucosides varied depending on the species of LAB. Especially, L. paraplantarum KM seems to be a promising starter for bioactive-fermented soymilk based on its growth, acid production, and isoflavone conversion within a short time.