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The Microfloras of Traditional Greek Cheeses

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  • Authors: Evanthia Litopoulou-Tzanetaki1, Nikolaos Tzanetakis2
  • Editor: Catherine W. Donnelly3
  • VIEW AFFILIATIONS HIDE AFFILIATIONS
    Affiliations: 1: Laboratory of Food Microbiology and Hygiene, Department of Food Science and Technology, Faculty of Agriculture, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Thessaloniki 57001, Greece; 2: Laboratory of Food Microbiology and Hygiene, Department of Food Science and Technology, Faculty of Agriculture, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Thessaloniki 57001, Greece; 3: University of Vermont, Burlington, VT
  • Source: microbiolspec February 2014 vol. 2 no. 1 doi:10.1128/microbiolspec.CM-0009-2012
  • Received 15 September 2010 Accepted 25 June 2012 Published 07 February 2014
  • Evanthia Litopoulou-Tzanetaki, ganet@agro.auth.gr
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  • Abstract:

    Many traditional cheeses are made in Greece. Some of them are, in fact, types of the same cheese variety, whether or not they have different cheesemaking technologies, but are known by different local names. Twenty of them have been granted protected designation of origin status. In the 8th century BCE, Homer described a cheese thought to be the ancestor of feta, the main cheese manufactured in Greece from the ancient times until today. Meanwhile, various cheese types evolved through the centuries, and almost every area in Greece has its own cheesemaking tradition. Some cheese varieties are local, handcrafted products whose production has been handed down from generation to generation, and without interest in their continued production, these varieties will disappear. Other local varieties are made at small factories from pasteurized milk and commercial rennet and starter and are very different from the traditional versions. However, some milk producers still make their cheeses at home or at small dairies from raw milk, without any starter, or sometimes from thermized milk, with traditional yogurt as the starter. Their cheeses are the basis for the information presented in this review.

  • Citation: Litopoulou-Tzanetaki E, Tzanetakis N. 2014. The Microfloras of Traditional Greek Cheeses. Microbiol Spectrum 2(1):CM-0009-2012. doi:10.1128/microbiolspec.CM-0009-2012.

Key Concept Ranking

Hard Cheese
0.42277333
Soft Cheese
0.41799185
0.42277333

References

1. Anifantakis EM. 1991. Greek Cheeses: A Tradition of Centuries. National Dairy Committee of Greece, Athens, Greece.
2. Zygouris NP. 1956. Milk Industry. Ministry of Agriculture, Athens, Greece.
3. Nikolaou E, Tzanetakis N, Litopoulou-Tzanetaki E, Robinson RK. 2002. Changes in the microbiological and chemical characteristics of an artisanal, low-fat cheese made from raw ovine milk during ripening. Int J Dairy Technol 55:12–17.
4. Psoni L, Tzanetakis N, Litopoulou-Tzanetaki E. 2003. Microbiological characteristics of batzos, a traditional Greek cheese from raw goat's milk. Food Microbiol 20:575–582.
5. Psoni L, Kotzamanidis C, Yiangou M, Tzanetakis N, Litopoulou-Tzanetaki E. 2007. Genotypic and phenotypic diversity of Lactococcus lactis isolates from batzos, a Greek PDO raw goat milk cheese. Int J Food Microbiol 114:211–220. [PubMed][CrossRef]
6. Psoni L, Kotzamanides C, Andrighetto C, Lombardi A, Tzanetakis N, Litopoulou-Tzanetaki E. 2006. Genotypic and phenotypic heterogeneity in Enterococcus isolates from batzos, a raw goat milk cheese. Int J Food Microbiol 109:109–120. [PubMed]
7. Tzanetakis N, Hatzikamari M. 1994. La flore lactique superficielle du fromage feta, p 57. In Colloque de Societe Francaise de Microbiologie: Gestions des Populations Microbiennes dans les Industries Agro-Alimentaires. Societe Francaise de Microbiologie, Dijon, France.
8. Tzanetakis N, Hatzikamari M, Litopoulou-Tzanetaki E. 1996. Yeasts of the surface microflora of feta, a traditional Greek cheese, p 34–49. In Proceedings of the Symposium Yeasts in the Dairy Industry: Positive and Negative Aspects. FIL-IDF, Copenhagen, Denmark.
9. Tzanetakis N, Litopoulou-Tzanetaki E, Zerfiridis G. 1995. Etude de la flore superficielle du fromage feta: les micrococcacées, p 40. In 4ème Congrès de la Societe Francaise de Microbiologie. Société Française de Microbiologie, Tours, France.
10. Soldatou H, Psoni L, Tzanetakis N, Litopoulou-Tzanetaki E. 2006. Populations, types and biochemical activities of aerobic bacteria and lactic acid bacteria from the air of cheese factories. Int J Dairy Technol 59:200–208.
11. Vassiliadis A, Psoni L, Nikolaou E, Arvanitis L, Tzanetakis N, Litopoulou-Tzanetaki E. 2009. Changes in microbial populations, kinds of lactic acid bacteria and biochemical characteristics of Greek traditional feta cheese during ripening. Int J Dairy Technol 62:39–47.
12. Voulgari K, Hatzikamari M, Delepoglou A, Georgakopoulos P, Litopoulou-Tzanetaki E, Tzanetakis N. 2010. Antifungal activity of non-starter lactic acid bacteria isolates from dairy products. Food Control 21:136–142.
13. Bintsis T, Vafopoulou-Mastrojiannaki A, Litopoulou-Tzanetaki E, Robinson RK. 2003. Protease, peptidase and esterase activities by lactobacilli and yeast isolates from feta cheese brine. J Appl Microbiol 95:68–77. [PubMed]
14. Mama V, Hatzikamari M, Lombardi A, Tzanetakis N, Litopoulou-Tzanetaki E. 2002. Lactobacillus paracasei subsp. paracasei heterogeneity: the diversity among strains isolated from traditional Greek cheeses. Italian J Food Sci 14:351–362.
15. Xanthopoulos V, Hatzikamari M, Adamidis T, Tsakalidou E, Tzanetakis N, Litopoulou-Tzanetaki E. 2000. Heterogeneity of Lactobacillus plantarum isolates from Feta cheese throughout ripening. J Appl Microbiol 88:1056–1064. [PubMed]
16. Tzanetakis N, Litopoulou-Tzanetaki E. 1992. Changes in numbers and kinds of lactic acid bacteria in feta and teleme, two Greek cheeses from ewes' milk. J Dairy Sci 75:1389–1393.
17. Tzanetakis N, Litopoulou-Tzanetaki E. 1989. Biochemical activities of Pediococcus pentosaceus isolates of dairy origin. J Dairy Sci 72:859–863.
18. Vafopoulou-Mastrojiannaki A, Litopoulou-Tzanetaki E, Tzanetakis N. 1984. Proteinase, peptidase and esterase activity of crude cell-free extracts of Pediococcus pentosaceus isolated from cheese. Lebensmittel-Wiss Technol 27:342–346.
19. Govaris A, Koidis P, Papatheodorou K. 2002. Survival of Escherichia coli O157:H7 in feta cheese during storage. J Hellenic Vet Med Soc 53:24–32.
20. Karaioannoglou P, Koidis P, Papageorgiou D, Mantis A. 1985. Taux de survie de Yersinia enterocolitica au cours de la fabrication et de l'entreposage du fromage feta. Milchwissenschaft 40:204–206.
21. Melas DS, Papageorgiou DK, Abrahim A, Mantis A. 2001. Survival of Aeromonas hydrophila during the manufacture and ripening of feta cheese. Milchwissenschaft 56:257–261.
22. Tzanetakis N. 1990. Microbiology and composition of touloumisio and xynotyri, two traditional Greek sheep's milk cheeses. Microbiol Aliments Nutr 8:281–288.
23. Georgala AK, Kaminarides SE, Anifantakis EM. 2006. Free fatty acid content of some traditional Greek cheese varieties. Aust J Dairy Technol 61:26–31.
24. Litopoulou-Tzanetaki E, Tzanetakis N. 1992. Microbiological study of white-brined cheese made from raw goat milk. Food Microbiol 9:12–19.
25. Hatzikamari M, Litopoulou-Tzanetaki E, Tzanetakis N. 1999. Microbiological characteristics of anevato: a traditional Greek cheese. J Appl Microbiol 87:595–601. [PubMed]
26. Cogan TM, Barbosa M, et al. 1997. Characterization of the lactic acid bacteria in artisanal dairy products. J Dairy Res 64:409–421.
27. Samelis J, Kakouri A. 2007. Microbial and safety qualities of PDO galotyri cheese manufactured at the industrial or artisanal scale in Epirus, Greece. Ital J Food Sci 19:91–99.
28. Lekkas C, Kakouria A, Paleologos E, Voutsinas LP, Kontominas MG. 2006. Survival of Escherichia coli O157:H7 in galotyri cheese stored at 4 and 12°C. Food Microbiol 22:268–276. [PubMed][CrossRef]
29. Rogga KJ, Samelis J, Kakouria A, Katsiaria MC, Savvaidis IN, Kontominas MG. 2005. Survival of Listeria monocytogenes in galotyri, a traditional Greek soft acid-curd cheese, stored aerobically at 4°C and 12°C. Int Dairy J 15:59–67.
30. Fourkiotis A, Vafiadou E, Litopoulou-Tzanetaki E, Tzanetakis N. 2004. Microflora of traditional cheese Katiki Domokou. In 20th Medical Congress of Armed Forces.
31. Tzanetakis N, Litopoulou-Tzanetaki E, Manolkidis K. 1987. Microbiology of kopanisti, a traditional Greek cheese. Food Microbiol 4:251–256.
32. Papageorgiou DK, Abrahim A, Bori M, Doundounakis S. 1998. Chemical and bacteriological characteristics of pichtogalo chanion cheese and mesophilic starter cultures for its production. J Food Prot 61:668–692. [PubMed]
33. Tsakalidou E, Zoidou E, Pot B, Wassill L, Ludwig W, Devriese LA, Kalantzopoulos G, Schleifer KH, Kersters K. 1998. Identification of streptococci from Greek kasseri cheese and description of Streptococcus macedonicus sp. nov. Int J Syst Bacteriol 48:519–527. [PubMed]
34. Kalavrouzioti I, Hatzikamari M, Litopoulou-Tzanetaki E, Tzanetakis N. 2004. Production of hard cheese from caprine milk by the use of two types of probiotic cultures as adjuncts. Int J Dairy Technol 58:30–38.
35. Xanthoudidis S. 1919. Pimenika Kritis. Heraklion, Greece.
36. Prodromou K, Thasitou P, Haritonidou E, Tzanetakis N, Litopoulou-Tzanetaki E. 2001. Microbiology of “Orinotyri”, a ewe's milk cheese from the Greek mountains. Food Microbiol 18:319–328.
37. Fista G, Tzanetakis N, Zerfiridis G. 1996. Microbiological characteristics of “Ladotyri of Mytilene” a traditional Greek cheese, abstr A31. In Fifth Symposium on Lactic Acid Bacteria:Genetics, Metabolism and Applications. Federation of European Microbiological Societies, Netherlands Society for Microbiology, Foundation Antonie van Leeuwenhoek, Veldhoven, The Netherlands.
38. Gerasi E, Litopoulou-Tzanetaki E, Tzanetakis N. 2003. Microbiological study of manura, a hard cheese made from raw ovine milk in the Greek island Sifnos. Int J Dairy Technol 56:117–122.
39. Bontinis TG, Mallatou H, Alichanidis E, Kakouri A, Samelis J. 2008. Physicochemical, microbiological and sensory changes during ripening and storage of xinotyri, a traditional Greek cheese from raw goat's milk. Int J Dairy Technol 61:229–236.
40. Litopoulou-Tzanetaki E, Vafopoulou-Mastrojiannaki A, Tzanetakis N. 1989. Biotechnologically important metabolic activities of pediococcus isolates from milk and cheese. Microbiol Aliments Nutr 7(2):113–122.
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2014-02-07
2017-09-20

Abstract:

Many traditional cheeses are made in Greece. Some of them are, in fact, types of the same cheese variety, whether or not they have different cheesemaking technologies, but are known by different local names. Twenty of them have been granted protected designation of origin status. In the 8th century BCE, Homer described a cheese thought to be the ancestor of feta, the main cheese manufactured in Greece from the ancient times until today. Meanwhile, various cheese types evolved through the centuries, and almost every area in Greece has its own cheesemaking tradition. Some cheese varieties are local, handcrafted products whose production has been handed down from generation to generation, and without interest in their continued production, these varieties will disappear. Other local varieties are made at small factories from pasteurized milk and commercial rennet and starter and are very different from the traditional versions. However, some milk producers still make their cheeses at home or at small dairies from raw milk, without any starter, or sometimes from thermized milk, with traditional yogurt as the starter. Their cheeses are the basis for the information presented in this review.

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Figures

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FIGURE 1

Numbers (log CFU/g; mean ± standard deviation [bars]) of and coliforms (a) and NSLAB (b) during manufacture and storage of batzos cheese from raw ewe's and/or goat's milk made in spring and summer. d, days. doi:10.1128/microbiolspec.CM-0009-2012.f1

Source: microbiolspec February 2014 vol. 2 no. 1 doi:10.1128/microbiolspec.CM-0009-2012
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FIGURE 2

Microflora (log CFU/g) in the curd of traditional feta cheese made in various areas in Greece. doi:10.1128/microbiolspec.CM-0009-2012.f2

Source: microbiolspec February 2014 vol. 2 no. 1 doi:10.1128/microbiolspec.CM-0009-2012
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FIGURE 3

Populations (log CFU/g) of different microbial groups during manufacture and ripening of teleme cheese made from raw goat's milk. (a) Total aerobic count and other microbial groups; (b) NSLAB. doi:10.1128/microbiolspec.CM-0009-2012.f3

Source: microbiolspec February 2014 vol. 2 no. 1 doi:10.1128/microbiolspec.CM-0009-2012
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FIGURE 4

Counts (log CFU/g; mean ± standard deviation [bars]) during manufacture and storage of anevato cheese made throughout the whole lactation season. (a) and coliforms; (b) NSLAB; (c) other microbial groups. doi:10.1128/microbiolspec.CM-0009-2012.f4

Source: microbiolspec February 2014 vol. 2 no. 1 doi:10.1128/microbiolspec.CM-0009-2012
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FIGURE 5

Distribution of NSLAB (percentage of isolates) during manufacture and storage of anevato cheese. doi:10.1128/microbiolspec.CM-0009-2012.f5

Source: microbiolspec February 2014 vol. 2 no. 1 doi:10.1128/microbiolspec.CM-0009-2012
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FIGURE 6

Populations (log CFU/g; mean ± standard deviation [bars]) of microbial groups throughout manufacture and ripening of Graviera Kritis cheese. (a) Various microbial groups; (b) LAB. doi:10.1128/microbiolspec.CM-0009-2012.f6

Source: microbiolspec February 2014 vol. 2 no. 1 doi:10.1128/microbiolspec.CM-0009-2012
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FIGURE 7

Counts (log CFU/g; mean ± standard deviation [bars]) of NSLAB in fresh and mature orinotyri (a) and their distribution (b). (a) NSLAB; (b) distribution of genera or groups of NSLAB. doi:10.1128/microbiolspec.CM-0009-2012.f7

Source: microbiolspec February 2014 vol. 2 no. 1 doi:10.1128/microbiolspec.CM-0009-2012
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FIGURE 8

Counts (log CFU/g; mean ± standard deviation [bars]) of different microbial groups at three main points of ripening of manura cheese. Gram-ve, gram negative. doi:10.1128/microbiolspec.CM-0009-2012.f8

Source: microbiolspec February 2014 vol. 2 no. 1 doi:10.1128/microbiolspec.CM-0009-2012
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FIGURE 9

Numbers (log CFU/g; mean ± standard deviation [bars]) of the various microbial groups on the surface and the interior of manouri cheese made in spring and summer. doi:10.1128/microbiolspec.CM-0009-2012.f9

Source: microbiolspec February 2014 vol. 2 no. 1 doi:10.1128/microbiolspec.CM-0009-2012
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Tables

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TABLE 1

Traditional Greek PDO cheeses

Source: microbiolspec February 2014 vol. 2 no. 1 doi:10.1128/microbiolspec.CM-0009-2012
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TABLE 2

Effect of season and type of milk on the profile of the predominant NSLAB in batzos cheese ( 3 , 4 )

Source: microbiolspec February 2014 vol. 2 no. 1 doi:10.1128/microbiolspec.CM-0009-2012
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TABLE 3

NSLAB species in feta cheese manufactured in various parts of Greece

Source: microbiolspec February 2014 vol. 2 no. 1 doi:10.1128/microbiolspec.CM-0009-2012
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TABLE 4

Species of LAB isolated from MRS agar plates exposed to the air of cheesemaking and draining-salting rooms at two creameries (A and B) making traditional Greek cheeses (mainly feta)

Source: microbiolspec February 2014 vol. 2 no. 1 doi:10.1128/microbiolspec.CM-0009-2012
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TABLE 5

NSLAB composition of Graviera Kritis cheese

Source: microbiolspec February 2014 vol. 2 no. 1 doi:10.1128/microbiolspec.CM-0009-2012
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TABLE 6

NSLAB composition grown on cheese surface and interior of manura cheese throughout ripening

Source: microbiolspec February 2014 vol. 2 no. 1 doi:10.1128/microbiolspec.CM-0009-2012

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