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Lactic Acid Bacteria,what do they eat?

 
gardener
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Weird question maybe,but seeing that not all of them come from milk, so clearly lactose isn't the only thing they feed on.
Cabbage ferments like kimchee or sauerkraut dont have lactose, obviously, nor are they high in carbs like rice,yet they are notoriously suffuse with Lactic Acid Bacteria.
So do different species eat different stuff, or are they like fungus, able to adapt and pull genes from the library to switch from lactose to fructose or what ever?
 
pollinator
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I had the impression that they were called Lactic acid bacteria because they make Lactic acid . Most bacteria can digest sugars of verious types and the result is co2 and water because they have plenty of oxygen :-) lactic acid bacteria can survive on less oxygen because they do not completely break down the sugars hence the lactic acid waste product .
 
William Bronson
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Thanks for the explanation.
The root of my question is a vauge idea about LAB based "silage" ,as a way to preserve vegetable scraps for my chickens.
The more I think about it, the less I like it.
From the best of my understanding the omnipresent botulism spores keep LAB ferments from being bulletproof safe at room tempature.
Heavy salt is also contradicted for chicken feed.

Drying the veg by solar or wood is probably a better choice.
 
pollinator
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Pickled vegetable .... soured vegetable .... soured milk. even sausage and cheese.

I like the idea of preserving the food by a combination of ways: salting+fermenting+dehydrating+smoking.

LAB also eat Protein (different type of amino acids, fat and different type of carbs+minerals and vitamins.  
 
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William, Clostridium botulinum is the organism (bacteria) that produces botulinum (the toxin) but it only does this in anaerobic conditions, so just don't allow anaerobic conditions to occur.

Redhawk
 
William Bronson
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I was considering LAB pickling of food scrapes.
Anarobic conditions and salinity are two ways to promote LAB growth.
i think conventional silage uses anarobic conditions,though articles about the danger of botilism in silage usually cite inftroduced air as the culprite...
A lack of protien and sustained low tempatures can also suppress the production of botulism  toxin.

Id like to put salvaged veg in a barrel of LAB ferment , adding more as i get it.
I was going to put a gallon of conconut oil on top to amaintain anarobic conditions.
Do LAB not need anarobic conditions work?
 
Bryant RedHawk
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William, the way Lactobacillus grows is in aerobic conditions (think of your milk souring in the fridge), it will also grow anaerobically but to me that is more for keeping the odors down.

There is only one way to grow Clostridium botulinum and that is in anaerobic conditions, one of the worst cases of botulinum poisoning in the US was traced to improperly canned Tuna, something like 1 million cans were buried in a land fill because of the outbreak.
Since LAB can be grown both ways (aerobic and anaerobic), it seems to me that not offering the C.b. a chance to flourish would be the  most prudent, but then again, once you have the LAB in the soil, the C.b will perish and any toxin would be neutralized by other bacteria in the soil.

Redhawk
 
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The reason botulism is a problem primarily in canned foods is because everything else is killed off by the heat-canning process. The C. botulinum is killed too but its spores are not, and in the sterilized environment they have no competition...emerging to proliferate. In more, ahem, natural environments, even anaerobic ones, the balance of other bacteria, especially LAB, totally prevent C bot domination.

To answer your original question, LAB positively ADORE inulin. A prebiotic, it's present in a lot of tubers, like burdock, sunchokes, and yacon. It's used in industrial yogurt production to give the LAB an advantage. If I need to jump-start a ferment I add some sunchoke ferment brine, which I always have around, and that gets the lil ones hella hyper. Inulin also creates such favorable conditions for LAB that they crowd out Kahm yeast, which makes many a ferment soft and a little off-tasting, even after skimming. Eventually I will have dialed in the proportions of inulin boosters so that my kraut never gets Kahm again.
 
William Bronson
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I love it! I'gots sunchokes for days,so juicing some should be no problem.
Gotta looking into growing yacon in zone six...
 
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Also of note regarding botulism is that the growth of the bacteria and the formation of toxin is inhibited by pH of 4.5 or lower. That is easily achieved via lactic-acid fermentation.

 
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I read somewhere (Probably Sally Fallon?) that if you have doubts about whether your fermenting situation is ideal for lactic acid bacteria, eg sweet substrate, or need to use less salt, you can add whey from healthy yogurt.
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