Microbiological and Metagenomic Characterization of a Retail Delicatessen Galotyri-Like Fresh Acid-Curd Cheese Product

John Samelis, Agapi I. Doulgeraki, Vasiliki Bikouli, Dimitrios Pappas, Athanasia Kakouri
2021 Fermentation  
This study evaluated the microbial quality, safety, and ecology of a retail delicatessen Galotyri-like fresh acid-curd cheese traditionally produced by mixing fresh natural Greek yogurt with 'Myzithrenio', a naturally fermented and ripened whey cheese variety. Five retail cheese batches (mean pH 4.1) were analyzed for total and selective microbial counts, and 150 presumptive isolates of lactic acid bacteria (LAB) were characterized biochemically. Additionally, the most and the least diversified
more » ... batches were subjected to a culture-independent 16S rRNA gene sequencing analysis. LAB prevailed in all cheeses followed by yeasts. Enterobacteria, pseudomonads, and staphylococci were present as <100 viable cells/g of cheese. The yogurt starters Streptococcus thermophilus and Lactobacillus delbrueckii were the most abundant LAB isolates, followed by nonstarter strains of Lactiplantibacillus, Lacticaseibacillus, Enterococcus faecium, E. faecalis, and Leuconostoc mesenteroides, whose isolation frequency was batch-dependent. Lactococcus lactis isolates were sporadic, except for one cheese batch. However, Lactococcus lactis, Enterobacteriaceae, Vibrionaceae, Salinivibrio, and Shewanellaceae were detected at fairly high relative abundances culture-independently, despite the fact that their viable counts in the cheeses were low or undetectable. Metagenomics confirmed the prevalence of S. thermophilus and Lb. delbrueckii. Overall, this delicatessen Galotyri-like cheese product was shown to be a rich pool of indigenous nonstarter LAB strains, which deserve further biotechnological investigation.
doi:10.3390/fermentation7020067 fatcat:d6ofyeranfejlpc5vnmkzsenb4