Background: Riboflavin has received rather less attention in the past years, but interest is increasing because it is recognized as an essential component of cellular biochemistry, it is one of the vital vitamins required by human, bacteria, animals and plants. Today, bio production of riboflavin is competing with chemically synthesized one. Lactobacilli are well reckoned for their technological and probiotic significance and their exercise in dairy products for trade and industry. Materials and Methods: The present study was carried out to isolate and characterize riboflavin lactobacilli from various dairy and non-dairy sources of Indian origin. The isolates were subjected to phenotypic and genotypic characterizations followed by partial 16S rDNA sequencing. Results: As many as 40 isolates were identified as Lactobacilli and among them 14 were identified as L.plantarum, 5 as L. fermentum, 5 as L. delbrueckii subsp. bulgaricus, 4 L. brevis, 2 L. pentosus and 1 isolate as L. mucosae. Further isolates were screened for riboflavin production by chemical assay method and among all the tested isolates, 2 isolates viz. KTLF1 (L.fermentum) and KTLP13 (L.planatrum) have been observed to produce appreciable amount of riboflavin in MRS and RAM. Conclusion: These riboflavin producing lactobacilli can be used as a model for the development of strains that have the potential to produce an essential vitamin in situ which would contribute significantly to the functional value of certain fermented foods.
Key words: Health benefits, Lactobacilli, Nutrition, Probiotic, Riboflavin, Vitamin.