Pediococcus is a genus of Gram-positive lactic acid bacteria, placed within the family of Lactobacillaceae. They usually occur in pairs or tetrads, and divide along two planes of symmetry, as do the other lactic acid cocci genera Aerococcus and Tetragenococcus. They are purely homofermentative. Pediococcus dextrinicus has recently been reassigned to the genus Lactobacillus.
Pediococcus is, along with other lactic acid bacteria such as Leuconostoc and Lactobacillus, responsible for the fermentation of cabbage, making it sauerkraut. In this process, the sugars in fresh cabbage are fermented to lactic acid, which gives sauerkraut a sour flavour and good keeping qualities. Pediococcus bacteria are usually considered contaminants of beer and wine, although their presence is sometimes desired in beer styles such as lambic and Berliner Weisse. Certain Pediococcus isolates produce diacetyl which gives a buttery or butterscotch aroma to some wines (such as Chardonnay) and a few styles of beer. Pediococcus species are often used in silage inoculants. Pediococci are used as probiotics, and are commonly added as beneficial microbes in the creation of sausages, cheeses and yogurts.
- Haakensen, M; Dobson, CM; Hill, JE; Ziola, B (2009). "Reclassification of Pediococcus dextrinicus (Coster and White 1964) back 1978 (Approved Lists 1980) as Lactobacillus dextrinicus comb. Nov., and emended description of the genus Lactobacillus". International Journal of Systematic and Evolutionary Microbiology. 59 (Pt 3): 615–21. doi:10.1099/ijs.0.65779-0. PMID 19244449.
- Abrunhosa, Luis; Ines, Antonio; Rodrigues, Ana I; Guimaraes, Ana; Pereira, Vania L; Parpot, Pier; Mendes-Faia, Arlete; Venancio, Armando (Oct 2014). "Biodegradation of ochratoxin A by Pediococcus parvulus isolated from Douro wines". International Journal of Food Microbiology. 188 (OCT 1 2014): 45–52. doi:10.1016/j.ijfoodmicro.2014.07.019. PMID 25087204.