Examining Growth Patterns of Starter Cultures in Swiss Cheese
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Publisher:The Ohio State University
Series/Report no.:The Ohio State University. Department of Food Science and Technology Undergraduate Research Theses; 2015
Swiss cheese production involves two main flora, thermophilic lactic acid bacteria (LAB) such as Streptococcus thermophillus and Lactobacillus spp. and propionic acid bacteria (PAB), Propionibacterium freudenreichii. These microorganisms play specific roles in the development of the sweet and nutty flavor, eye-production, and texture of Swiss cheese. Understanding the growth of these species is important because their growth and metabolism are directly associated with the fermentation and ripening of Swiss cheese. The objective of this study was to measure the growth pattern of LABs and PAB during the manufacture of Swiss Cheese. Samples from two Ohio-based factories at four different manufacturing stages (out of press, pre-cool, warm-room, and at cheese cutting) were obtained. Enumeration of the bacteria was performed using a viable plate count after each manufacturing stage. One company showed initial fermentation by LAB and subsequent fermentation by PAB. On the other hand, other company showed similar growth patterns of LAB and PAB throughout the four stages. These results indicated that not all Swiss cheese production follows with the theory of initial fermentation by LABs and subsequent fermentation by PAB during Swiss cheese manufacture. In other words, Swiss cheese production is majorly affected by different manufacture conditions or bacterial strains used. Furthermore, this study could guide further studies to monitor what fermentation pathways are active during specific stages of the Swiss cheese production and how they contribute to the ripening of Swiss cheese.
Academic Major: Food Science and Technology