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Keywords:

  • bacteria;
  • food microbiology;
  • food quality;
  • molecular techniques;
  • smear cheese

Abstract:  Microbial DNA from 9 batches of Taleggio PDO cheese sampled at various times during ripening, brines, swabs of wooden shelves used for cheese dry-salting, and 13 commercial cheeses were analyzed by denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (PCR-DGGE) and/or random amplification of polymorphic DNA (RAPD-PCR). Sequencing allowed the detection of 12 genera, 27 species, and 2 unclassified bacteria. Molecular analysis allowed for the detection of microorganisms not previously associated with Taleggio such as Lactobacillus paracasei, Carnobacterium maltaromaticum, Bacillus licheniformis, Corynebacterium variabile, Psychrobacter cibarius, and Staphylococcus carnosus. For the first time Massilia spp. was detected in a dairy ecosystem.

Practical Application:  Indigenous species and strains of bacteria identified by this study could be used for the selection of dairy cultures to be employed routinely by manufacturers to control the Taleggio cheese production. The new cultures may give the bases for driving dairy processes and, consequently, control the typical flavor resulting from metabolic actions of environmental microorganisms.