Functional resilience and response to a dietary additive (kefir) in models of foregut and hindgut microbial fermentation in vitro

Gabriel de la Fuente, Eleanor Jones, Shann Jones, Charles J Newbold

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Stability in gut ecosystems is an important area of study that impacts on the use of additives and is related with several pathologies. Kefir is a fermented milk drink made with a consortium of yeast and bacteria as a fermentation starter, of which the use as additive in companion and livestock animals has increased in the last few years. To investigate the effect of kefir milk on foregut and hindgut digestive systems, an in vitro approach was followed. Either rumen fluid or horse fecal contents were used as a microbial inoculate and the inclusion of kefir (fresh, autoclaved, or pasteurized) was tested. Gas production over 72 h of incubation was recorded and pH, volatile fatty acids (VFAs), lactate and ammonia concentration as well as lactic acid (LAB) and acetic acid bacteria, and yeast total numbers were also measured. Both direct and indirect (by subtracting their respective blanks) effects were analyzed and a multivariate analysis was performed to compare foregut and hindgut fermentation models. Addition of kefir boosted the fermentation by increasing molar concentration of VFAs and ammonia and shifting the Acetate to Propionate ratio in both models but heat processing techniques like pasteurization or autoclaving influenced the way the kefir is fermented and reacts with the present microbiota. In terms of comparison between both models, the foregut model seems to be less affected by the inclusion of Kefir than the hindgut model. In terms of variability in the response, the hindgut model appeared to be more variable than the foregut model in the way that it reacted indirectly to the addition of different types of kefir.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1194
JournalFrontiers in Microbiology
Early online date28 Jun 2017
Publication statusFirst published - 28 Jun 2017
Externally publishedYes


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