Lactobacillus is the name of a genus of common bacteria. The bacteria in this family break down the starch and sugar; because of this, they are often used for processing food. These bacteria are best known for being used to ferment dairy products into yogurt and cheese. Many species of Lactobacilli are considered beneficial to human health and are referred to as probiotics. This entry takes a closer look at the microbiology of Lactobacilli, their use in food production and functional foods, and health claims associated with these bacteria.


Lactobacilli are gram-positive rod-shaped bacteria. The genus Lactobacillus contains many species, and within each species, there are often many subspecies and strains. This bacteria type is found throughout the environment, including on the surface of plants and ...

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