Abstract: Red dragon fruit or red pitaya is rich in potassium, fiber, and antioxidants. Its nutritional properties and unique flesh color have made it an attractive raw material of various types of food products and beverages including fermented beverages or enzyme drinks. In this study, phenotypic and genotypic methods were used to confirm the identity of lactic acid bacteria (LAB) appeared in fermented red dragon fruit (Hylocereus polyrhizus) beverages. A total of 21 isolates of LAB were isolated and characterized. They belonged to the genus of Enterococcus based on their biochemical characteristics. The isolates can be clustered into two groups by using the randomly amplified polymorphic DNA method. Nucleotide sequencing and restriction fragment length polymorphism of the 16S rRNA region suggested that they were either Enterococcus faecalis or Enterococcus durans.
Practical Application: Current research revealed the use of biochemical analyses and molecular approaches to identify the microbial population particularly lactic acid bacteria from fermented red dragon fruit juices.