Yeasts from autochthonal cheese starters: technological and functional properties



Viviana Suárez, INLAIN (FIQ-UNL), Santiago del Estero 2829, 3000 Santa Fe, Argentina. E-mail:



The aim of this work was to identify 20 yeasts isolated from autochthonal cheese starters and evaluate their technological and functional properties.

Methods and Results

The capacities of the yeasts to grow at different temperatures, pH, NaCl and lactic acid concentrations as well as the proteolytic and lipolytic activities were studied. Moreover, survival to simulated gastrointestinal digestion, hydrophobicity, antimicrobial activity against pathogens and auto- and co-aggregation abilities were evaluated. The sequentiation of a fragment from the 26S rDNA gene indicated that Kluyveromyces marxianus was the predominant species, followed by Saccharomyces cerevisiae, Clavispora lusitaniae, Kluyveromyces lactis and Galactomyces geotrichum. RAPD with primer M13 allowed a good differentiation among strains from the same species. All strains normally grew at pH 4·7–5·5 and temperatures between 15 and 35°C. Most of them tolerated 10% NaCl and 3% lactic acid. Some strains showed proteolytic (eight isolates) and/or lipolytic (four isolates) capacities. All strains evidenced high gastrointestinal resistance, moderate hydrophobicity, intermediate auto-aggregation and variable co-aggregation abilities. No strains inhibited the growth of the pathogens assayed.


Some strains from dairy sources showed interesting functional and technological properties.

Significance and Impact of the Study

This study has been the first contribution to the identification and characterization of yeasts isolated from autochthonal cheese starters in Argentina. Many strains could be proposed as potential candidates to be used as probiotics and/or as co-starters in cheese productions.