Probiotics and Food Technology

Research Leader: Prof Mapitsi Thantsha

Google Scholar ID

Research Focus:

Prof Mapitsi Thantsha is an associate professor in Microbiology in the Department of Biochemistry, Genetics and Microbiology in the Faculty of Natural and Agricultural Sciences. Her research interests are in the broad field of bacteriology, with a particular interest in food microbiology. Her research is focused on the functioning of the human gut microbiome and its effect on health, and the development of probiotics, prebiotics and synbiotics to enhance the functioning of the gut microbial system and for control foodborne pathogens. In her research, she explores different strategies, such as microencapsulation and stress adaptation to improve the stability of probiotic strains, develops alternative mechanisms for the delivery of such strains, and bioengineers probiotics for targeted control of enteric pathogens. She collaborates with other researchers on the application of probiotics in animal production, specifically small ruminant and poultry production. Furthermore, she is involved in projects that address the problems of water and soil pollution, where bioremediation is used to make polluted soils suitable for crop cultivation, while the improvement of water quality ensures the availability of safe water. Her research outputs include more than 30 peer-reviewed articles published in reputable national and international scientific journals and two chapters in books. She contributes to human capacity development in Southern Africa and has supervised or co-supervised 17 honours, 11 MSc and four PhD students. Prof Thantsha received a C2 rating from the NRF.

Supervised Students:


Reabetswe Masebe


Tlangelani Mlambo

Postdoctoral Fellow:

Dr Moloko Mathipa


Prof Rasheed Adeleke, North West University, South Africa
Dr ML Thaoge, Tshwane University of Technology, South Africa
Prof Arun Bhunia, Purdue university, USA

Selected Publications

Mapitsi S. Thantsha, Thomas E. Cloete, Francis S. Moolman and Philip W. Labuschagne. (2009) Supercritical carbon dioxide interpolymer complexes improve survival of Bifidobacterium longum Bb-46 in simulated gastrointestinal fluids. International Journal Food Microbiology 129, 88-92.
Jemma Booyens and Mapitsi Silvester Thantsha. (2014). Fourier transform infra-red spectroscopy and flow cytometric assessment of the antibacterial mechanism of action of aqueous extract of garlic (Allium sativum) against selected probiotic Bifidobacterium strains. BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine 14: 289.
P. Dawlal, C Brabet, MS Thantsha, EM Buys. (2019) Visualization and quantification of fumonisins bound by lactic acid bacteria isolates from traditional maize-based fermented cereals, ogi and mahewu. Food Additives and Contaminants. Part A Chemistry Analysis Control Exposure & Risk Assessment, 36 (2), pp. 296 - 307.DOI.10.1080/19440049.2018.1562234.
Mathipa MG, Thantsha MS, Bhunia A (2019). Lactobacillus casei expressing Internalins A and B reduces Listeria monocytogenes interaction with Caco-2 cells in vitro. Microbial Biotechnology, 12 (4), pp. 715 -709.
Uraisha Ramlucken, Santosh O. Ramchuran, Ghaneshree Moonsamy, Rajesh Lalloo, Mapitsi S. Thantsha, and Christine Jansen van Rensburg (2020). A novel Bacillus based multi-strain probiotic improves growth performance and intestinal properties of Clostridium perfringens challenged broilers Poultry Science, 99: 331-341. DOI: http://dx.doi.org10.3382/ps/pez496

Copyright © University of Pretoria 2024. All rights reserved.

FAQ's Email Us Virtual Campus Share Cookie Preferences