The purpose of this study was to assess the typical microbiological quality of the most famous Portuguese traditional cheese, Serra da Estrela, and to assess its ripening time and geographical dependence. Ninety-six experimental cheeses manufactured from sixteen batches of milk on eight
dairy farms scattered over the Appellation d'Origine Protégée (AOP) region were qualitatively and quantitatively evaluated microbiologically at various ripening times. Viable counts were performed after inoculation on appropriate selective media for aerobic mesophiles and proteolytic
and lipolytic microflora, as well as lactococci, lactobacilli, species of Enterobacteriaceae, lactic streptococci, staphylococci, and yeasts. Members of the Enterobacteriaceae and lactic acid bacteria were the predominant microbial groups on all dairy farms throughout maturation;
the latter are probably the microbial group responsible for most proteolytic and lipolytic breakdown in Serra da Estrela cheese. The microbial groups whose numbers were most affected by dairy-to-dairy variation were species of Enterobacteriaceae, staphylococci, and enterococci, which
are the most critical groups in terms of health hazards. It is therefore suggested that tighter control should be implemented at the level of choice of raw materials, in milk-handling practices, and in general throughout the manufacturing process in attempts to standardize production and consistently
reduce microbiological risks (even though the distinctiveness of a few final organoleptic characteristics may somehow be reduced).
Document Type: Research Article
Escola Superior de Biotecnologia, Universidade Católica Portuguesa, Rua Dr. António Bernardino de Almeida, 4200 Porto, Portugal
Publication date: May 1, 1998
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 www.foodprotection.org.