Genotypic and technological diversity of Leuconostoc mesenteroides and Lactobacillus paracasei subsp. paracasei strains for use as adjunct starter cultures in Pecorino di Filiano cheese


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Seventeen Leuconostoc mesenteroides and 33 Lactobacillus paracasei subsp. paracasei from traditional Pecorino di Filiano cheese were tested for their potential use as adjunct starters, and a study of their genetic variability was carried out. Forty one per cent (41%) of Leumesenteroides and 46% of Lb. paracasei subsp. paracasei showed medium–high proteolytic activity, while high lipolytic activity was detected in 18% of Lb. paracasei subsp. paracasei. The aminopeptidase activity of Lb. paracasei subsp. paracasei was higher than that of Leumesenteroides. Strain diversity by RAPD analysis showed a high degree of heterogeneity. This study identified strains with unusual properties that could be good candidates as adjuncts in a starter to manufacture PF cheese.