Estonian University Gets European Patent for Lactic Acid Bacterium

Sep 21 2010 - 13:47

Researchers from the Estonian University of Tartu, who discovered the lactic acid bacterium Lactobacillus fermentum ME-3 back in 1995, have been recently granted a patent in Europe for the use of this bacterium as a food ingredient in 24 countries.

The bacterium is already used as an ingredient in the Dr. Hellus dairy products, a trademark of Estonian leading food producer Tere. Russia and the United States already have patent holders for the bacterium.

The researchers from the university hope this bacterium can also be applied in the pharmaceutical industry.

“Until now, there hasn’t been a single application, in which a bacterium would act as an antioxidant. Lately, antioxidants have come to have a pretty significant role as supplements and medicines, but until now they have only been found in various plant products, such as rose hip tea, nettle tea and everything of that sort,” said Mihkel Zilmer, medical biochemistry professor and one of the bacterium’s discoverers.

For more information, please contact Aleksandra Noveska at our Macedonia office.

Source: ERR News — Estonian Public Broadcasting English-language news portal

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