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Proteolysis and Process-Induced Modifications in Synbiotic Yogurt Investigated by Peptidomics and Phosphopeptidomics

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posted on 31.07.2020, 18:37 by Gabriella Pinto, Gianluca Picariello, Francesco Addeo, Lina Chianese, Andrea Scaloni, Simonetta Caira
Probiotic and synbiotic yogurt preparations were manufactured at the semi-industrial pilot scale with Lactobacillus acidophilus and Bifidobacteria strains without inulin or fortified with 1 and 3% (w/w) inulin. The pathway of casein breakdown was determined in probiotic, synbiotic, conventional yogurt, and nonstarted milk base using HPLC–ESI-MS/MS-based peptidomics and phosphopeptidomics; in the latter case, casein phosphorylated peptides (CPPs) were previously enriched by hydroxyapatite chromatography. Compared with traditional yogurt, casein proteolysis increased in probiotic and even more in synbiotic yogurt with 1% inulin. Fortification with 3% inulin greatly modified the proteolytic pattern, indicating a characteristic contribution of probiotics to proteolysis. The enhanced proteolysis in synbiotic yogurt exposed the neo-formed peptides to progressively increase enzymatic or chemical modifications, such as dephosphorylation of CPPs, methionine oxidation, and formation of N-terminal pyroglutamic acids. These modifications might constitute molecular signature descriptors of metabolic processes mediated by complex bacterial communities, with technological, nutritional, and sensorial significance.