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The Microfloras and Sensory Profiles of Selected Protected Designation of Origin Italian Cheeses

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  • Authors: Giuseppe Licitra1, Stefania Carpino2
  • Editor: Catherine W. Donnelly3
  • VIEW AFFILIATIONS HIDE AFFILIATIONS
    Affiliations: 1: Department of Agriculture and Food Production, Catania University, 95100 Catania, Italy; 2: CoRFiLaC, 97100 Ragusa, Italy; 3: University of Vermont, Burlington, VT
  • Source: microbiolspec January 2014 vol. 2 no. 1 doi:10.1128/microbiolspec.CM-0007-2012
  • Received 06 September 2011 Accepted 08 August 2012 Published 24 January 2014
  • Stefania Carpino, carpino@corfilac.it
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  • Abstract:

    Approximately 39 Italian cheeses carry protected designation of origin (PDO) status. These cheeses differ in their manufacturing technology and the microbial flora which comprise the finished products. The evolution of lactic microflora in cheeses with PDO status is of particular interest because the biochemical activities of these organisms participate in cheesemaking and may play an acknowledged role in the development of organoleptic characteristics during ripening. Nonstarter lactic acid bacteria (NSLAB) constitute complex microbial associations that are characterized by the occurrence of various species and many biotypes as a result of a number of selective conditions persisting during the manufacturing process and different ecological niches. The evolution of different species during ripening of Fiore Sardo showed that, when present, persists and dominates the microflora of the cheese in the last period of ripening, suggesting that this species, more resistant to the constraints of the mature cheese, could be involved in proteolysis and in other enzymatic processes occurring during cheese ripening. In contrast, the stretching step typical of pasta filata cheese, such as Ragusano, induced a simplification of the raw milk profiles, allowing the persistence only of some predominant species, such as , subsp. , , and , after the stretching step. and were isolated from ripened Castelmagno PDO cheese samples with the highest frequencies. These species, generally absent in the milk, occur in dairy ecosystems and dominate the bacterial flora of many ripened semihard cheeses. In PDO long-ripened Italian cheese such as Parmigiano Reggiano, the NSLAB population is mainly formed by , , and . , subsp. , and subsp. were also detected. Continued insight into the microbial populations of traditional Italian cheeses will allow continued production of characteristic, high-quality cheeses which have been enjoyed for many centuries.

  • Citation: Licitra G, Carpino S. 2014. The Microfloras and Sensory Profiles of Selected Protected Designation of Origin Italian Cheeses. Microbiol Spectrum 2(1):CM-0007-2012. doi:10.1128/microbiolspec.CM-0007-2012.

Key Concept Ranking

Lactic Acid Fermentation
0.5138787
Lactic Acid Bacteria
0.43682504
Soft Cheese
0.43604952
Hard Cheese
0.42087615
0.5138787

References

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42. De Angelis M, Corsetti A, Tosti N, Rossi J, Corbo MR, Gobbetti M. 2001. Characterization of non-starter lactic acid bacteria from Italian ewe cheeses based on phenotypic, genotypic, and cell wall protein analyses. Appl Environ Microbiol 67:2011–2020. [PubMed][CrossRef]
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Abstract:

Approximately 39 Italian cheeses carry protected designation of origin (PDO) status. These cheeses differ in their manufacturing technology and the microbial flora which comprise the finished products. The evolution of lactic microflora in cheeses with PDO status is of particular interest because the biochemical activities of these organisms participate in cheesemaking and may play an acknowledged role in the development of organoleptic characteristics during ripening. Nonstarter lactic acid bacteria (NSLAB) constitute complex microbial associations that are characterized by the occurrence of various species and many biotypes as a result of a number of selective conditions persisting during the manufacturing process and different ecological niches. The evolution of different species during ripening of Fiore Sardo showed that, when present, persists and dominates the microflora of the cheese in the last period of ripening, suggesting that this species, more resistant to the constraints of the mature cheese, could be involved in proteolysis and in other enzymatic processes occurring during cheese ripening. In contrast, the stretching step typical of pasta filata cheese, such as Ragusano, induced a simplification of the raw milk profiles, allowing the persistence only of some predominant species, such as , subsp. , , and , after the stretching step. and were isolated from ripened Castelmagno PDO cheese samples with the highest frequencies. These species, generally absent in the milk, occur in dairy ecosystems and dominate the bacterial flora of many ripened semihard cheeses. In PDO long-ripened Italian cheese such as Parmigiano Reggiano, the NSLAB population is mainly formed by , , and . , subsp. , and subsp. were also detected. Continued insight into the microbial populations of traditional Italian cheeses will allow continued production of characteristic, high-quality cheeses which have been enjoyed for many centuries.

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TABLE 1

Traditional Italian PDO cheeses

Source: microbiolspec January 2014 vol. 2 no. 1 doi:10.1128/microbiolspec.CM-0007-2012

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