The purpose of this research was to explore lactic acid bacteria (LAB) from Nigerian fermented foods that can be used to produce riboflavin. In this study, LAB were isolated from “wara”, “nono”, and “ogi”. Total number of colonies of LAB in triplicates ranged from 3.9 x 106 CFU ml 1 to 4.2 x 106 CFU ml 1. A total of 321 lactic acid bacteria were isolated. Of these LAB isolates, 129 (40%) belong to the genus Lactobacillus, 69 (21%) to Lactococcus, 53 (21%) to Streptococcus, 41 (13%) to Pediococcus (13%) while 29 (9%) to genus Leuconostoc. All isolated LAB strains were screened for riboflavin production, but twenty sixsynthesized riboflavin. The results of the biochemical test showed that the isolates were gram positive, catalase negative, indole, negative, non motile and were able to assimilate ribose, galactose, D glucose, lactose, mannose, manitol, arabinose, cellobiose, and maltose. Molecularcharacteristics of the best riboflavin-producing LAB revealed the presence of L. plantarum, L. fermentum, L. acidophilus and L. plantarum (CAU7407), L. fermentum (CAU2804), L. acidophilus (DL2). This study indicated that LAB strains from Nigerian fermented foods could produce riboflavin. Further study is needed to optimize the conditions for riboflavin production by these LAB isolates.
Keywords: Riboflavin, lactic acid bacteria, Nigerian fermented foods, “wara”, “nono”, “ogi”biochemical characteristics, molecular characteristics