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Use of Selected Lactobacilli to Increase γ-Aminobutyric Acid (GABA) Content in Sourdough Bread Enriched with Amaranth Flour

FoodMicroTeam s.r.l., Via di Santo Spirito, 14, 50125 Florence, Italy
Department of Agriculture, Food, Environment and Forestry (DAGRI), University of Florence, Piazzale delle Cascine, 18, 50144 Florence, Italy
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Foods 2019, 8(6), 218;
Received: 14 May 2019 / Revised: 6 June 2019 / Accepted: 13 June 2019 / Published: 18 June 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Bioactive Components in Fermented Foods and Food By-Products)
PDF [1224 KB, uploaded 18 June 2019]


γ-Aminobutyric acid (GABA) is the primary inhibitory neurotransmitter of the central nervous system and possesses various physiological functions. GABA production can be obtained thanks to lactic acid bacteria activity in different foods such as sourdoughs. Recently, breads made from blends of pseudocereals and wheat flours have attracted much attention. Amaranth is especially interesting because of its high nutritional value, having a high protein content and containing different antioxidant compounds. Therefore, this study aimed to obtain sourdough breads enriched with GABA thanks to bacterial activity and to investigate the effect of amaranth flour addition on the antioxidant and sensorial properties of bread. Eighteen lactobacilli strains were assayed for GABA production in amaranth and wheat flour liquid sourdoughs. Two strains, Lactobacillus brevis A7 and Lactobacillus farciminis A11, demonstrated high GABA producing capability; hence, they were used to prepare breads containing 20% amaranth flour. The results confirmed the capability of the two strains to increase GABA concentrations (up to 39 mg/kg) in breads. Samples with amaranth addition showed a significantly higher total phenolic content compared to the control bread (more than 15 mg GAE 100 g−1 dwb); sensory analysis showed that breads with amaranth were moderately acceptable. Nevertheless, their general liking evaluation was significantly lower compared to the control bread. The addition of pseudocereal to traditional wheat sourdough and selection of lactobacilli allowed the production of baked goods with enhanced GABA content and antioxidant capacity, but recipes have to be developed to increase the organoleptic acceptability of the final products. View Full-Text
Keywords: sourdough; γ-aminobutyric acid GABA; amaranth flour; lactobacilli; bioactive compounds sourdough; γ-aminobutyric acid GABA; amaranth flour; lactobacilli; bioactive compounds

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Venturi, M.; Galli, V.; Pini, N.; Guerrini, S.; Granchi, L. Use of Selected Lactobacilli to Increase γ-Aminobutyric Acid (GABA) Content in Sourdough Bread Enriched with Amaranth Flour. Foods 2019, 8, 218.

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