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Characterization Of The Lactic Acid Bacteria In Artisanal Dairy Products

TIMOTHY M. COGAN, MANUELA BARBOSA, ERIC BEUVIER, BRUNA BIANCHI-SALVADORI, PIER S. COCCONCELLI, ISABEL FERNANDES, JESUS GOMEZ, ROSARIO GOMEZ, GEORGE KALANTZOPOULOS, ANTONIO LEDDA, MARGARITA MEDINA, MARY C. REA, EVA RODRIGUEZ

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In all, 4379 isolates from 35 products, including 24 artisanal cheeses, were surveyed with a view to identifying strains that could be used as starters in commercial dairy fermentations. Of the isolates, 38% were classified as Lactococcus, 17% as Enterococcus, 14% as Streptococcus thermophilus, 12% as mesophilic Lactobacillus, 10% as Leuconostoc and 9% as thermophilic Lactobacillus. Acid production by the isolates varied considerably. Of the 1582 isolates of Lactococcus and 482 isolates of mesophilic Lactobacillus tested, only 8 and 2% respectively produced sufficient acid to lower the pH of milk to <5·3 in 6 h at 30°C. In contrast, 53, 32 and 13% of Str. thermophilus, thermophilic Lactobacillus and Enterococcus isolates respectively reduced the pH to 5·3. These isolates were found only in some French, Italian and Greek cheeses. Bacteriocins were produced by 11% of the 2257 isolates tested and 26 of them produced broad-spectrum bacteriocins which inhibited at least eight of the ten target strains used, which included lactic acid bacteria, clostridia and Listeria innocua. The most proteolytic of the 2469 isolates tested were Str. thermophilus from Fontina cheese followed by Enterococcus from Fiore Sardo and Toma cheese and thermophilic Lactobacillus from all sources. Exopolysaccharides were produced by 5·3% of the 2224 isolates tested.