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Surface microbial consortia from Livarot, a French smear-ripened cheese

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The surface microflora (902 isolates) of Livarot cheeses from three dairies was investigated during ripening. Yeasts were mainly identified by Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy. Geotrichum candidum was the dominating yeast among 10 species. Bacteria were identified using Biotype 100 strips, dereplicated by repetitive extragenic palindromic PCR (rep-PCR); 156 representative strains were identified by either BOX-PCR or (GTG)5-PCR, and when appropriate by 16S rDNA sequencing and SDS–PAGE analysis. Gram-positive bacteria accounted for 65% of the isolates and were mainly assigned to the genera Arthrobacter, Brevibacterium, Corynebacterium, and Staphylococcus. New taxa related to the genera Agrococcus and Leucobacter were found. Yeast and Gram-positive bacteria strains deliberately added as smearing agents were sometimes undetected during ripening. Thirty-two percent of the isolates were Gram-negative bacteria, which showed a high level of diversity and mainly included members of the genera Alcaligenes, Hafnia, Proteus, Pseudomonas, and Psychrobacter. Whatever the milk used (pasteurized or unpasteurized), similar levels of biodiversity were observed in the three dairies, all of which had efficient cleaning procedures and good manufacturing practices. It appears that some of the Gram-negative bacteria identified should now be regarded as potentially useful in some cheese technologies. The assessment of their positive versus negative role should be objectively examined.

Keywords: bacteria; bactéries; diversity; diversité; dynamics; dynamiques; fromage à croûte lavée; levures; smear cheese; yeast

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Université de Caen Basse-Normandie, Unité des microorganismes d’intérêt laitier et alimentaire, E.A. 3213, IFR 146 ICORE, 14032 Caen CEDEX, France. 2: Laboratoire de génie et de microbiologie des procédés alimentaires, INRA, 78850 Thiverval-Grignon, France. 3: School of Biology, University of Newcastle, Newcastle upon Tyne NE1 7RU, UK. 4: BCCM/LMG Bacteria Collection, Universiteit Gent, 9000 Gent, Belgium. 5: Abteilung Mikrobiologie, Zentralinstitut für Ernährungs und Lebensmittelforshung, 85350 Freising, Germany.

Publication date: 2011-08-04

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  • Published since 1954, this monthly journal contains new research in the field of microbiology including applied microbiology and biotechnology; microbial structure and function; fungi and other eucaryotic protists; infection and immunity; microbial ecology; physiology, metabolism and enzymology; and virology, genetics, and molecular biology. It also publishes review articles and notes on an occasional basis, contributed by recognized scientists worldwide.
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