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The Microbiology of Traditional Hard and Semihard Cooked Mountain Cheeses

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  • Authors: Eric Beuvier1, Gabriel Duboz2
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    Affiliations: 1: UR342 Technologie et Analyses Laitières, Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique, 39801 Poligny cedex 1, France; 2: UR342 Technologie et Analyses Laitières, Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique, 39801 Poligny cedex 1, France; 3: University of Vermont, Burlington, VT
  • Source: microbiolspec October 2013 vol. 1 no. 1 doi:10.1128/microbiolspec.CM-0006-2012
  • Received 20 December 2011 Accepted 04 April 2012 Published 31 October 2013
  • Eric Beuvier, eric.beuvier@poligny.inra.fr
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  • Abstract:

    Traditional cheeses originate from complex systems that confer on them specific sensory characteristics. These characteristics are linked to various factors of biodiversity such as animal feed, the use of raw milk and its indigenous microflora, the cheese technology, and the ripening conditions, all in conjunction with the knowledge of the cheesemaker and affineur. In Europe, particularly in France, the preservation of traditional cheesemaking processes, some of which have protected designation of origin, is vital for the farming and food industry in certain regions. Among these cheeses, some are made in the Alps or Jura Mountains, including Comté, Beaufort, Abondance, and Emmental, which are made from raw milk. The principle of hard or semihard cooked cheese, produced in the Alps and Jura Mountains, was to make a product during the summer—a period during which the animals feed more and milk production is high—with a shelf life of several months that could be consumed in winter. Today, these traditional cheeses are produced according to a specific approach combining science and tradition in order to better understand and preserve the elements that contribute to the distinctiveness of these cheeses. To address this complex problem, a global approach to the role of the raw milk microflora in the final quality of cheeses was initially chosen. The modifications resulting from the elimination of the raw milk microflora, either by pasteurization or by microfiltration, to the biochemistry of the ripening process and ultimately the sensory quality of the cheeses were evaluated. This approach was achieved mainly with experimental hard cooked cheeses. Other types of traditional cheese made with raw and pasteurized milk are also considered when necessary. Besides the native raw milk microflora, traditional lactic starters (natural or wild starters) also participate in the development of the characteristics of traditional hard and semihard cooked mountain cheeses. After an initial description, their roles are described, mainly for Comté.

  • Citation: Beuvier E, Duboz G. 2013. The Microbiology of Traditional Hard and Semihard Cooked Mountain Cheeses. Microbiol Spectrum 1(1):CM-0006-2012. doi:10.1128/microbiolspec.CM-0006-2012.

References

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5. Berthier F, Beuvier E, Bouton Y, Depouilly A, Dufrene F, Guyot P. 2005. Diversit et stabilit de la microflore levain et non levain cur des fromages de Comt, p 205213. In Montel MC, Branger C, Bonnemaire J (coordinating ed), Les fermentations au service des produits de terroir. INRA, Paris, France.
6. McSweeney PLH, Sousa MJ. 2000. Biochemical pathways for the production of flavour compounds in cheeses during ripening: a review. Lait 80:293324.
7. Brodier A, Spinnler HE. 2011. Microflore du lait et caractristiques sensorielles des fromages, p 2939. In Laithier C (coordinating ed), Microflore du lait cruVers une meilleure connaissance des cosystmes microbiens du lait et de leurs facteurs de variation. CNAOL, Paris, France.
8. Beuvier E, Berthaud K, Cegarra S, Dasen A, Pochet S, Buchinu S, Duboz G. 1997. Ripening and quality of Swiss-type cheese made from raw, pasteurized or microfiltered milk. Int Dairy J 7:311323.
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13. Ginzinger W, Jaros D, Lavanchy P, Rohm H. 1999. Raw milk flora affects composition and quality of Bergkase. 3. Physical and sensory properties, and conclusions. Lait 79:411421.
14. Cornu A, Rabiau N, Kondjoyan N, Verdier-Metz I, Pradel P, Tournayre P, Berdague J-L, Martin B. 2009. Odour-active compound profiles in Cantal-type cheese: Effect of cow diet, milk pasteurization and cheese ripening. Int Dairy J 19:588594.
15. Chambers DH, Esteve E, Retiveau A. 2010. Effect of milk pasteurization on flavour properties on seven commercially available French cheese types. J Sens Stud 25:494511.
16. Demarigny Y. 1997. Rle de la flore naturelle du lait cru et de paramtres technologiques (teneur en sel et temprature d'affinage) sur l'volution des caractristiques biochimiques, microbiologiques et sensorielles des fromages pte presse cuite. Ph.D. thesis. Universit de Bourgogne, Dijon, France.
17. Callon C, Bergagu J-L, Dufour E, Montel M-C. 2005. The effect of raw milk microbial flora on the sensory characteristics of Salers-type cheese. J Dairy Sci 88:38403850.
18. Demarigny Y, Beuvier E, Buchin S, Pochet S, Grappin R. 1997. Influence of raw milk microflora on the characteristics of Swiss-type cheeses. II. Biochemical and sensory characteristics. Lait 77:151167.
19. Beuvier E. 1996. French artisanal cheeses, p 6078. In Cogan TC, Rea MC (coordinating ed), Artisanal European Cheeses. European CommissionDG XIIBrussels, Brussels, Belgium.
20. Cogan TM, Barbosa M, Beuvier E, Bianchi-Salvadori B, Cocconcelli PS, Fernandes I, Gomez J, Gomez R, Kalantzopoulos G, Ledda A, Medina M, Rea MC, Rodriguez E. 1997. Characterization of the lactic acid bacteria in artisanal dairy products. J Dairy Res 64:409421.
21. Vermot-Desroches C, Beuvier E. 2005. Un fromage pte cuite: le Comt, p 173179. In Montel MC, Branger C, Bonnemaire J (coordinating ed), Les fermentations au service des produits de terroir. INRA, Paris, France.
22. Chamba J-F, Delacroix-Buchet A, Berdagu J-L, Clment J-F. 1994. A comprehensive approach of cheese characterizationthe example of Beaufort cheese. Sci Aliments 14:581590.
23. Casey MG, Hani J-P, Gruskovnjak J, Schaeren W, Wechsler D. 2006. Characterisation of the non-starter lactic acid bacteria (NSLAB) of Gruyre PDO cheese. Lait 86:407414.
24. Rossetti L, Fornassari ME, Gatti M, Lazzi C, Neviani E, Giraffa G. 2008. Grana Padano cheese whey starters: microbial composition and strain distribution. Int J Food Microbiol 127:168171.
25. Bottari B, Santarelli M, Neviani E, Gatti M. 2009. Natural whey starter for Parmigiano Reggiano: culture-independent approach. J Appl Microbiol 108:16761684.
26. Casalta E, Cachenaut J-M, Aubert C, Dufrene F, Nol Y, Beuvier E. 2005. Application of specific starters for the manufacture of Venaco cheese. Lait 85:205222.
27. Depouilly A, Dufrene F, Beuvier E, Berthier F. 2004. Genotypic characterization of the dynamics of lactic acid bacterial population of Comt cheese. Lait 84:155167.
28. Berthier F, Depouilly A, Dufrene F, Palme R, Beuvier E. 2004. Diversity of dominant microflora of Comt cheese. IDF Symposium on Cheese: Ripening, Characterization and Technology, 21 to 25 March 2004, Prague, Czech Republic. (Abstract.)
29. Coppola R, Nanni M, Lorizzo M, Sorrentino A, Sorrentino E, Grazia L. 1997. Survey of lactic acid bacteria isolated during the advanced stages of the ripening of Parmigiano Reggiano cheese. J Dairy Res 64:305310.
30. Henri-Dubernet S, Desmasures N, Gueguen M. 2004. Culture-dependent and culture-independent methods for molecular analysis of the diversity of lactobacilli in Camembert de Normandie cheese. Lait 84:179189.
31. Quigley L, O'Sullivan O, Beresford T, Ross RP, Fitzgerald GF, Cotter PD. 2011. Molecular approaches to analysing the microbial composition of raw milk and raw milk cheese. Int J Food Microbiol 150:8194.
32. Beuvier E, Buchin S. 2004. Raw milk cheeses, p 319345. In Fox PF, McSweeney PLH, Cogan TM, Guinee TP (ed), Cheese: Chemistry, Physics and Microbiology, 3rd ed, vol 1. Elsevier Academic Press, London, United Kingdom.
33. Michel V, Hauwuy A, Chamba JF. 2001. La flore microbienne de laits crus de vache: diversit et influence des conditions de production. Lait 81:575592.
34. Michel V, Hauwuy A, Chamba JF. 2006. Gestion de la flore microbienne des laits crus par les pratiques des producteurs, p 309312. In 13e Rencontres Recherches Ruminants, 6 to 7 December 2006, Paris, France.
35. Bouton Y, Tessier L, Guyot P, Beuvier E. 2005. Relations entre les pratiques des producteurs et les niveaux de populations microbiennes des laits Comt. 12e Rencontres Recherches Ruminants, 7 to 8 December 2000, Paris, France. (Abstract.)
36. Bouton Y, Guyot P, Vacheyrou M, Normand A-C, Piarroux R, Beuvier E. 2007. Etude des flux bactriens dans les tables de production laitire de Franche-Comt. Exemple des LHF. 15e colloque du Club des Bactries Lactiques, 13 to 15 November, Rennes, France. (Abstract.)
37. Grappin R, Beuvier E, Bouton Y, Pochet S. 1999. Advances in the biochemistry and microbiology of Swiss-type cheeses. Lait 79:322.
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2013-10-31
2017-12-15

Abstract:

Traditional cheeses originate from complex systems that confer on them specific sensory characteristics. These characteristics are linked to various factors of biodiversity such as animal feed, the use of raw milk and its indigenous microflora, the cheese technology, and the ripening conditions, all in conjunction with the knowledge of the cheesemaker and affineur. In Europe, particularly in France, the preservation of traditional cheesemaking processes, some of which have protected designation of origin, is vital for the farming and food industry in certain regions. Among these cheeses, some are made in the Alps or Jura Mountains, including Comté, Beaufort, Abondance, and Emmental, which are made from raw milk. The principle of hard or semihard cooked cheese, produced in the Alps and Jura Mountains, was to make a product during the summer—a period during which the animals feed more and milk production is high—with a shelf life of several months that could be consumed in winter. Today, these traditional cheeses are produced according to a specific approach combining science and tradition in order to better understand and preserve the elements that contribute to the distinctiveness of these cheeses. To address this complex problem, a global approach to the role of the raw milk microflora in the final quality of cheeses was initially chosen. The modifications resulting from the elimination of the raw milk microflora, either by pasteurization or by microfiltration, to the biochemistry of the ripening process and ultimately the sensory quality of the cheeses were evaluated. This approach was achieved mainly with experimental hard cooked cheeses. Other types of traditional cheese made with raw and pasteurized milk are also considered when necessary. Besides the native raw milk microflora, traditional lactic starters (natural or wild starters) also participate in the development of the characteristics of traditional hard and semihard cooked mountain cheeses. After an initial description, their roles are described, mainly for Comté.

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FIGURE 1

Ripening cellar of Comté cheese, Fromagerie Arnaud, Poligny, Jura, France. (Source: © Christian Slagmulder/INRA.) doi:10.1128/microbiolspec.CM-0006-2012.f1

Source: microbiolspec October 2013 vol. 1 no. 1 doi:10.1128/microbiolspec.CM-0006-2012
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FIGURE 2

Beaufort cheese. (Source: © Gérard Grosclaude/INRA.) doi:10.1128/microbiolspec.CM-0006-2012.f2

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FIGURE 3

Mini-experimental cheesemaking plant at INRA in Poligny. doi:10.1128/microbiolspec.CM-0006-2012.f3

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FIGURE 4

Distribution of physicochemical, microbiological, and flavor criteria (additional variables in italics and bold) in R (raw), P (pasteurized), MF (microfiltered) and P + bact (pasteurized plus microorganisms contained in retentate) milk using principal-component analysis. MesoLb, mesophilic lactobacilli; Entero, enterococci; PAB, propionibacteria; C2, acetic acid; C3, propionic acid; iC5, isovaleric acid; PTA, phosphotungstic acid-soluble N; CN, casein. Adapted from reference 8. doi:10.1128/microbiolspec.CM-0006-2012.f4

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FIGURE 5

Distribution of volatile compounds and flavor attributes (additional variables in italics and bold) in R and P Morbier-type semihard cheeses using principal-component analysis. C2, C3, and C5, acetic, propionic, and valeric acids, respectively. Adapted from reference 10. doi:10.1128/microbiolspec.CM-0006-2012.f5

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FIGURE 6

Influence of the level and origin of the raw milk microflora on the microbiological, biochemical, and sensory characteristics of Gruyère-type cheeses. MF, microfiltered; A, B, and C, dairies from which the microfloras reincorporated in the milk originated; Lb, lactobacilli; C3 and iC5, volatile fatty acids; NS, water-soluble nitrogen; NPT, phosphotungstic acid-soluble nitrogen. Adapted from reference 18. doi:10.1128/microbiolspec.CM-0006-2012.f6

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FIGURE 7

Addition of starter during the manufacture of Abondance cheese, Alpage Le Gouly, Abondance, France. (Source: © Eric Beuvier/INRA.) doi:10.1128/microbiolspec.CM-0006-2012.f7

Source: microbiolspec October 2013 vol. 1 no. 1 doi:10.1128/microbiolspec.CM-0006-2012
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FIGURE 8

Effect of the variation of the lactic starter culture on the taste characteristics of Comté. Cheeses a, b, and c were made with selected starters; cheeses A, B, and C were made with natural or wild starters. The size of the symbol illustrates the aromatic richness (that is to say, the number of aroma descriptors). Adapted from reference 21. doi:10.1128/microbiolspec.CM-0006-2012.f8

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FIGURE 9

Evolution of the main microbial groups during ripening of Comté (37). doi:10.1128/microbiolspec.CM-0006-2012.f9

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FIGURE 10

Growth dynamics of the strains of Lactobacillus paracasei and Lb. rhamnosus during the ripening of Comtés 1 and 2 (28). Temperatures at the top are ripening temperatures. d, days. doi:10.1128/microbiolspec.CM-0006-2012.f10

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FIGURE 11

Growth dynamics of the strains of P. freudenreichii during the ripening of Comtés 1 and 2 (28). Temperatures at the top are ripening temperatures. d, days. doi:10.1128/microbiolspec.CM-0006-2012.f11

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FIGURE 12

Thermophilic streptococci in hard cooked cheese. (Source: © Micheline Rousseau/INRA.) doi:10.1128/microbiolspec.CM-0006-2012.f12

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FIGURE 13

Thermophilic lactobacilli in hard cooked cheese after molding but before salting. (Source: © Micheline Rousseau/INRA.) doi:10.1128/microbiolspec.CM-0006-2012.f13

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