During the past two decades probiotic bacteria have been increasingly proposed as health promoting bacteria in variety of food system, because of its safety, functional, and technological characteristics. Commonly, Lactobacillus spp., Bifidobacterium spp., Saccharomyces boulardii, and some other microorganisms have been considered as probiotic strains. Possibly these bacterial strains exerted several beneficial effects into gastrointestinal tract of host while administered with variety of food system. Lactic acid bacteria (LAB) usually produce antimicrobial substances like bacteriocin which have broad spectrum of antagonist effect against closely related Gram positive and Gram negative pathogens. LAB strains often produce polymeric substances such as exopolysaccharides (EPS) which increase the colonization of probiotic bacteria by cell-cell interactions in gastrointestinal tract. LAB also produces biosurfactant which showed that the wide range of antimicrobial activity against bacterial pathogen as well as its antiadhesive properties reduces the adhesion of pathogens into gastric wall membrane. Furthermore, LAB strains have also been reported for production of antioxidants which are ability to scavenge the free radicals such as superoxide anions and hydroxyl radicals. For this sense, this review article is mainly focused on the ecology, biosynthesis, genetics, target sites, and applications of bacteriocins and EPS from LAB strains. Moreover, this review discusses about the production and functions of nutritive essential element folate and iron chelating agent such as siderophores from LAB.
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