Natural rubber serum powder, rich in crude protein and carbohydrates, had a strong growth-stimulating activity for Bifidobacterium bifidum JCM 1254, which was unable to grow in a fully synthetic medium, B12assay medium. Natural rubber serum powder was fractionated by ultrafiltration (molecular weight cutoff 1000). The active ultrafiltrate was further concentrated and desalted with an adsorptive microconcentrator, which adsorbs virtually all amino acids and peptides. Through this purification step, it was found that the adsorbed fraction obtained did not stimulate growth independently but acted complementarily with a small amount of ammonium sulfate. The adsorbed fraction was subsequently analyzed on reversed-phase high pressure liquid chromatography, and the activities of the eluates were measured on B12assay medium with ammonium sulfate. Consequently, it was proved that several peptidic ingredients in the adsorbed fraction increased the growth of B. bifidum.
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