Mangia, Nicoletta Pasqualina and Murgia, Marco Ambrogio and Garau, Giovanni and Sanna, Maria Giovanna and Deiana, Pietrino (2008) Influence of selected lab cultures on the evolution of free amino acids, free fatty acids and Fiore Sardo cheese microflora during the ripening. Food Microbiology, Vol. 25 (2), p. 366-377. ISSN 0740-0020. Article.
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Fiore Sardo Protected Denomination of Origin is a traditional Sardinian (Italy) hard cheese produced exclusively from whole raw ovine milk and coagulated with lamb rennet paste. Currently, Fiore Sardo is still produced by shepherds at the farmhouse level without the addition of any starter culture and the cheese-making process is characterized by significant waste.
The first objective of the present work was to investigate the autochthonous microflora present in milk and Fiore Sardo cheese in order to select lactic acid bacterial (LAB) cultures with suitable cheese-making attributes and, possibly reduce the production waste. Secondly, the ability of selected cultures to guarantee cheese healthiness and quality was tested in experimental cheese-making trials.
In this study, we show that the typical lactic microflora of raw ewe's milk and Fiore Sardo cheese is mostly composed of mesophilic LAB such as Lactococcus lactis subsp. lactis, Lactobacillus plantarum and Lactobacillus casei subsp. casei. Moreover, strains belonging to the species were selected for cheese-making attributes and used in experimental cheese-making trials carried out in different farms producing Fiore Sardo. The evolution of the cheese microflora, free amino acids and free fatty acids during the ripening showed that the experimental cheeses were characterized by a balanced ratio of the chemical constituents, by a reduced number of spoilage microorganisms and, remarkably, by the absence of production waste that were significant for the control cheeses.
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