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Mesophilic and Thermophilic Cultures Used in Traditional Cheesemaking

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  • Author: Mark E. Johnson1
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    Affiliations: 1: Wisconsin Center for Dairy Research, Madison, WI 53706-1565; 2: University of Vermont, Burlington, VT
  • Source: microbiolspec October 2013 vol. 1 no. 1 doi:10.1128/microbiolspec.CM-0004-2012
  • Received 17 April 2011 Accepted 27 April 2012 Published 31 October 2013
  • Mark E. Johnson, jumbo@cdr.wisc.edu
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  • Abstract:

    Most cheese varieties require acidification of milk by a select group of bacteria called starters. They ferment lactose to lactic acid and in so doing aid the cheesemaker in developing the desired texture as well as acidity of the cheese. However, while other microorganisms play the major role in flavor development of cheese, it is the starter that sets the stage for quality cheese manufacture. Starters were traditionally derived from the native microflora of the milk, but this practice is almost unheard of today. With the advent of better hygienic milking practices and industrialized cheesemaking, there was a need for more uniformity and reliable sources of the starter culture. Today’s starters are produced by companies specializing in their production as well as in the development of new strains for cheesemakers. The choice of starter for the manufacture of a specific cheese is dictated by the cheesemaking protocol, but it is also governed by the need to produce cheese with desired physical attributes. The properties of the starter that make it possible to do so help drive innovation in developing new potential choices in starter cultures. Indeed, the demands for predictable and reliable rates and extent of acidification of milk for cheesemaking and flavor development are as key for successful cheesemaking today with artisanal cheesemakers as they are for larger, more industrial-scale cheesemakers.

  • Citation: Johnson M. 2013. Mesophilic and Thermophilic Cultures Used in Traditional Cheesemaking. Microbiol Spectrum 1(1):CM-0004-2012. doi:10.1128/microbiolspec.CM-0004-2012.

References

1. Decker JW. 1895. Cheddar Cheese Making, p 6. Published by the author, Madison, WI.
2. Broadbent JR. 2001. Genetics of lactic acid bacteria, p 243300. In Marth EH, Steele JL (ed), Applied Dairy Microbiology, 2nd ed. Marcel Dekker, Inc, New York, NY.
3. Rajagopal SN, Sandine WE. 1990. Associative growth and proteolysis of Streptococcus thermophilus and Lactobacillus bulgaricus in skim milk. J Dairy Sci 73:894899.
4. Hutkins RW. 2001. Metabolism of starter cultures, p 207241. In Marth EH, Steele JL (ed), Applied Dairy Microbiology, 2nd ed. Marcel Dekker, Inc, New York, NY.
5. Broadbent JR, Strickland M, Weimer BC, Johnson ME, Steele JL. 1998. Small peptide accumulation and bitterness in Cheddar cheese made from single strain Lactococcus lactis starters with distinct proteinase specifications. J Dairy Sci 81:327337.
6. Klaenhammer TR, Fitzgerald GF. 1994. Bacteriophages and bacteriophage resistance, p 106168. In Gasson MJ, de Vos W (ed), Genetics and Biotechnology of Lactic Acid Bacteria. Blackie Academic and Professional, Glasgow, Scotland.
7. Donnelly CW (ed). Cheese and Microbes, in press. ASM Press, Washington, DC.
8. Cogan TM, Accolas J-P (ed). 1996. Dairy Starter Cultures. Wiley-VCH, New York, NY.
9. Salminen S, von Wright A (ed). 1993. Lactic Acid Bacteria. Marcel Dekker, Inc, New York, NY.
10. Hassan AN, Frank JF. 2001. Starter cultures and their use, p 151206. In Marth EH, Steele JL (ed), Applied Dairy Microbiology, 2nd ed. Marcel Dekker, Inc, New York, NY.
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/content/journal/microbiolspec/10.1128/microbiolspec.CM-0004-2012
2013-10-31
2017-07-27

Abstract:

Most cheese varieties require acidification of milk by a select group of bacteria called starters. They ferment lactose to lactic acid and in so doing aid the cheesemaker in developing the desired texture as well as acidity of the cheese. However, while other microorganisms play the major role in flavor development of cheese, it is the starter that sets the stage for quality cheese manufacture. Starters were traditionally derived from the native microflora of the milk, but this practice is almost unheard of today. With the advent of better hygienic milking practices and industrialized cheesemaking, there was a need for more uniformity and reliable sources of the starter culture. Today’s starters are produced by companies specializing in their production as well as in the development of new strains for cheesemakers. The choice of starter for the manufacture of a specific cheese is dictated by the cheesemaking protocol, but it is also governed by the need to produce cheese with desired physical attributes. The properties of the starter that make it possible to do so help drive innovation in developing new potential choices in starter cultures. Indeed, the demands for predictable and reliable rates and extent of acidification of milk for cheesemaking and flavor development are as key for successful cheesemaking today with artisanal cheesemakers as they are for larger, more industrial-scale cheesemakers.

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Figures

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FIGURE 1

Electron micrograph of Lactobacillus helveticus (rods) and Streptococcus thermophilus (cocci). Courtesy of William McManus and Donald McMahon, Western Dairy Center, Utah State University. doi:10.1128/microbiolspec.CM-0004-2012.f1

Source: microbiolspec October 2013 vol. 1 no. 1 doi:10.1128/microbiolspec.CM-0004-2012
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FIGURE 2

Influence of sugar content on color of baked mozzarella. When cheese dries, the protein burns, causing the blisters to be a darker color. The presence of residual galactose (left side) darkens the blister color. doi:10.1128/microbiolspec.CM-0004-2012.f2

Source: microbiolspec October 2013 vol. 1 no. 1 doi:10.1128/microbiolspec.CM-0004-2012
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FIGURE 3

pH adjustment with external (added) base. doi:10.1128/microbiolspec.CM-0004-2012.f3

Source: microbiolspec October 2013 vol. 1 no. 1 doi:10.1128/microbiolspec.CM-0004-2012
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FIGURE 4

Impact of pH control on starter culture numbers. doi:10.1128/microbiolspec.CM-0004-2012.f4

Source: microbiolspec October 2013 vol. 1 no. 1 doi:10.1128/microbiolspec.CM-0004-2012
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FIGURE 5

Impact on rate of acidification using a pH-controlled starter. doi:10.1128/microbiolspec.CM-0004-2012.f5

Source: microbiolspec October 2013 vol. 1 no. 1 doi:10.1128/microbiolspec.CM-0004-2012
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FIGURE 6

Impact of temperature on acid development in skim milk with Lactococcus lactis subsp. lactis. Courtesy of Randall Thunell, DSM Cheese Specialties. doi:10.1128/microbiolspec.CM-0004-2012.f6

Source: microbiolspec October 2013 vol. 1 no. 1 doi:10.1128/microbiolspec.CM-0004-2012
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FIGURE 7

Impact of temperature on acid development in skim milk with Lactococcus lactis subsp. cremoris. Courtesy of Randall Thunell, DSM Cheese Specialties. doi:10.1128/microbiolspec.CM-0004-2012.f7

Source: microbiolspec October 2013 vol. 1 no. 1 doi:10.1128/microbiolspec.CM-0004-2012
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Tables

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TABLE 1

Combined classification basis for lactic acid bacteria used as starters or secondary cultures used for flavor development

Source: microbiolspec October 2013 vol. 1 no. 1 doi:10.1128/microbiolspec.CM-0004-2012

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