The conjugated linoleic acids (CLA) contained in milk fat have a high health amelioration potential. The capacity of different starter cultures to form CLA from linoleic acid could be used to increase the CLA level in fermented dairy products. In a medium supplemented with linoleic acid, some strains of lactobacilli, lactococci and streptococci as well as 3 out of 6 propionibacteria were capable of forming CLA. In presence of linoleic acid 7 of 15 strains of bifidobacteria formed increased amounts of CLA. It is therefore possible that lactic acid and propionic acid bacteria as well as bifidobacteria convert linoleic acid to CLA during the manufacture, ripening and storage of fermented dairy products.
Formation of conjugated linoleic acids through starter cultures