Skip to main content

Behavior of Listeria monocytogenes during the Manufacture, Ripening, and Cold Storage of Afuega'l Pitu Cheese

Buy Article:

$37.00 plus tax (Refund Policy)


Afuega'l Pitu is an artisanal acid-coagulated cheese manufactured in Asturias (northern Spain) and mainly consumed between the 3rd and the 30th day of ripening. Six cheese-making trials were performed in a pilot plant by using pasteurized whole milk inoculated with Listeria monocytogenes (strain L2 [serotype 1/2a], L39, or L41 [serotype 4b]) to ca. 2.7 log CFU/ml. A starter containing three strains, Lactococcus lac tis subsp. lactis IPLA 947, Lactococcus lactis subsp. lactis biovar diacetylactis IPLA 838, and Leuconostoc citreum IPLA 616, grown separately in milk and combined in the volumetric proportion 3:1:1.3 was used. During the acidification L. monocytogenes counts increased 2.78- to 7.03-fold, depending on the strain, and remained within the curd; from this time counts decreased abruptly and were not detected in cheeses beyond the 7th day. The average pH in the curd was 4.43, and it decreased to around 4.0 in 5- to 7-day-old cheeses. These pH values were near the tolerance limit for L. monocytogenes and probably caused cell damage. Although moisture, aw and NaCl levels were not limiting for the growth and survival of L. monocytogenes, salt content must be considered as a contributing factor in L. monocytogenes inactivation. Finally, the L2 strain grew better in curd and was slightly more resistant to low pH and refrigeration than strain L39 or L41. The manufacture of Afuega'l Pitu cheese from pasteurized milk and the design of a specific starter from the autochthonous lactic microbiota can lead to a safer product that can be consumed after very short ripening periods.


Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Instituto de Productos Lácteos de Asturias (CSIC), Crta. de Infiesto s/n, 33300 Villaviciosa, Asturias, Spain

Publication date: June 1, 1997

More about this publication?
  • IAFP Members with personal subscriptions to JFP Online: To access full-text JFP or JMFT articles, you must sign-in in the upper-right corner using your Ingenta sign-in details (your IAFP Member Login does not apply to this website).

    The Journal of Food Protection (JFP) is a refereed monthly publication. Each issue contains scientific research and authoritative review articles reporting on a variety of topics in food science pertaining to food safety and quality. The Journal is internationally recognized as the leading publication in the field of food microbiology with a readership exceeding 11,000 scientists from 70 countries. The Journal of Food Protection is indexed in Index Medicus, Current Contents, BIOSIS, PubMed, Medline, and many others.

    Print and online subscriptions are available to IAFP Members and institutional subscribers. IAFP Members with a subscription to JFP Online will have access to all available JFP and JMFT content. Online visitors who are not IAFP Members or journal subscribers will be charged on a pay-per-view basis. Membership and subscription information is available at
  • Information for Authors
  • Submit a Paper
  • Subscribe to this Title
  • Membership Information
  • Information for Advertisers
  • Ingenta Connect is not responsible for the content or availability of external websites

Access Key

Free Content
Free content
New Content
New content
Open Access Content
Open access content
Partial Open Access Content
Partial Open access content
Subscribed Content
Subscribed content
Free Trial Content
Free trial content
Cookie Policy
Cookie Policy
Ingenta Connect website makes use of cookies so as to keep track of data that you have filled in. I am Happy with this Find out more