Skip to main content

Microbial Stability and Safety of Traditional Greek Graviera Cheese: Characterization of the Lactic Acid Bacterial Flora and Culture-Independent Detection of Bacteriocin Genes in the Ripened Cheeses and Their Microbial Consortia

Buy Article:

$37.00 plus tax (Refund Policy)


The microflora of four batches of traditional Greek Graviera cheese was studied at 5 weeks of ripening, and 200 lactic acid bacteria (LAB) isolates were phenotypically characterized and screened for antilisterial bacteriocins. The cheeses were also analyzed for organic acids by high-performance liquid chromatography and for the potential presence of 25 known LAB bacteriocin genes directly in cheese and their microbial consortia by PCR. All batches were safe according to the European Union regulatory criteria for Listeria monocytogenes, Salmonella, enterobacteria, and coagulase-positive staphylococci. The cheese flora was dominated by nonstarter Lactobacillus casei/paracasei (67.5%) and Lactobacillus plantarum (16.3%) strains, whereas few Streptococcus thermophilus (3.8%), Lactococcus lactis subsp. lactis (0.6%), and Leuconostoc (1.9%) organisms were present. Enterococcus faecium (9.4%) and Enterococcus durans (0.6%) were isolated among the dominant LAB from two batches; however, enterococci were present in all batches at 10- to 100-fold lower populations than mesophilic lactobacilli. Sixteen E. faecium isolates produced antilisterial enterocins. In accordance, enterocin B gene was detectable in all cheeses and enterocin P gene was present in one cheese, whereas the consortia of all cheeses contained at least two of the enterocin A, B, P, 31, L50A, and L50B genes. Plantaricin A gene was also amplified from all cheeses. Mean concentrations of lactic, acetic, citric, and propionic acids in the ripened cheeses exceeded 1.5% in total, of which approximately 0.9% was lactate. Thus, organic acid contents constitute an important hurdle factor for inhibiting growth of pathogens in traditional Graviera cheese products, with LAB bacteriocins, mainly enterocins, potentially contributing to increased cheese safety.

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: National Agricultural Research Foundation, Dairy Research Institute, Katsikas, 45221 Ioannina, Greece. 2: National Agricultural Research Foundation, Dairy Research Institute, Katsikas, 45221 Ioannina, Greece 3: University of Ljubljana, Biotechnical Faculty, Chair of Dairy Science, SI-1230 Domžale, Slovenia 4: Agricultural University of Athens, Department of Food Science and Technology, Laboratory of Dairy Research, Iera odos 75, 11855 Athens, Greece

Publication date: July 1, 2010

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