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The aim of this study was to develop simple, rapid and reliable methods for the selective determination of Bifidus essensis from ACTIVIA (Danone) yogurts. The methods are based on a modified MRS medium (B-broth), which does not contain inhibitory additives. The sugar source of the medium is maltose, which is metabolized by the bifidobacteria applied in the probiotic products, and not by the normal microflora of yogurt ( Streptococcus thermophilus and Lactobacillus delbrueckii subsp. bulgaricus ). The redox potential of the medium was reduced with cysteine-HCl. Due to its reduced redox potential, the new bouillon is suitable for aerobic cultivation of bifidobacteria, while in agar form it needs anaerobic incubation. In bouillon form (MPN method) the incubation time is only 2 days compared to the 5-day requirement of the classical anaerobic plate counting methods. The B-broth in diluted form was successfully used in a RABIT (Don Whitley) equipment for selective impedimetric determination of bifidobacteria in Danone yogurts. The exact detection time of the Bifidobacterium counts in a good quality probiotic yogurt, containing bifidobacteria at a concentration of 10 7 to 10 8 CFU ml −1 is not more than 10 to 12 h (in contrast to the 5 days of classical anaerobic plate counting methods).

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