Lactobacillus bulgaricus, yogurt bacterium, SEM

Lactobacillus bulgaricus, yogurt bacterium, SEM

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Credit: DENNIS KUNKEL MICROSCOPY/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Coloured scanning electron micrograph (SEM) of Lactobacillus bulgaricus, Gram-positive, non-spore forming, rod prokaryote. L. bulgaricus is one of several bacteria used to produce yogurt. The name L. bulgaricus is derived from the country Bulgaria where it was first used to preserve milk. The bacterium uses glucose in milk to produce lactic acid which is used to preserve the milk. Lactobacillus bulgaricus naturally exists in the human gastrointestinal tract and it is a probiotic bacterium. The bacteria is helpful to people suffering from lactose intolerance which occurs in individuals who lack the enzyme to break down lactose to simple sugars. Lactic acid produced by the fermentation of milk is responsible for the flavour and preservation of cheese, yogurt and other fermented milk products. Magnification: x2,400 when shortest axis printed at 25 millimetres.

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