The utilisation of fructose as an electron acceptor was studied in Leuconostoc mesenteroides NCIMB 8023 and Leuconostoc mesenteroides NCFB 811 under anaerobic conditions. Only small amounts of fructose as an electron accepter were converted to mannitol. Both bacteria produced lactate, ethanol, acetate along with mannitol during the metabolism of fructose in the absence of oxygen. Fermentation of a mixture of glucose and fructose resulted in the production of the same metabolic end-products and small amounts of mannitol were formed. Small concentrations of acetate were also detected. (C) 1998 Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved.