Streptococcus thermophilus, a gram positive, lactic acid producing coccus is usually used to produce milk, cheese and other dairy products, generally for commercial purposes. It hydrolyzes milk proteins and casein into nitrogen compounds and is used as a starting culture for food fermentation. Streptococcus thermophilus is mainly found in the upper and lower small intestines and produces lactase enzyme, which is helpful in digestion of lactose, a sugar found in milk.
The name Streptococcus is derived from the Greek word which means "twisted berry". It is seen under the microscope as a chain that resemble a string of beads. Thermophilus is a Greek term which means heat, referring to the organism that is able to survive extreme cases of heat, making it ideal for industrial dairy processes that usually require elevated temperatures
Benefits of Streptococcus Thermophilus
- Prevention and treatment of various types of diarrhea including rotavirus diarrhea in children
- Enhances immunity
- Helps digestion
- Alleviates lactose intolerance, Streptococcus thermophilus is efficient in breaking down lactose as it produces the enzyme, lactase
- Increases growth in children