Bacterial Evolution in Yogurt

Posted on June 24, 2006 Comments Off on Bacterial Evolution in Yogurt

Adapting to Life in Yogurt by Carl Zimmer:

The analysis, based on the microbe’s newly sequenced genome, suggests that the bacteria descend from microbes that originally fed on plants. Some of them fell accidentally into some herder’s milk, it seems, and happened to clot it and kept it from spoiling. Since then, people have been transferring yogurt to fresh milk time and again, and the effect has been like running a long-term experiment on the evolution of bacteria.

Carl Zimmer provide much more detail in this podcast: evolution of bacteria in yogurt.

More on yogurt bacteria:

Make These Bacteria Go to Work for You:

Yogurt has been receiving an increasing amount of attention from health-oriented nutrition scientists because this food and the bacteria used to make it have been linked to a variety of potential health benefits, from protection against intestinal and vaginal infections and bowel cancer to increased calcium absorption and overall enhancement of the immune system.

The health and nutritive value of yogurt depends on how it is prepared. Basically, yogurt is fermented milk made by adding to cow’s or soy milk bacteria that convert the sugar lactose into lactic acid, resulting in a creamy texture and tart taste. The bacteria most often used to prepare yogurts sold in the United States are Lactobacillus bulgaricus and Streptococcus thermophilus.

Understanding yogurt

Yoghurt bacteria ‘fights’ superbugs

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