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Changes in the Lactobacillus community during Ricotta forte cheese natural fermentation

Baruzzi, F., Morea, M., Matarante, A., Cocconcelli, P.S.
Journal of applied microbiology 2000 v.89 no.5 pp. 807-814
Lactobacillus, biodiversity, cheeses, fermentation, fermented foods, microorganisms, random amplified polymorphic DNA technique, ribosomal DNA, ribosomal RNA, sequence analysis, stress tolerance
The loss of microbial biodiversity due to the increase in large-scale industrial processes led to the study of the natural microflora present in a typical little known dairy product. The community of lactobacilli was studied in order to understand the natural fermentation of Ricotta forte cheese. The combined use of RAPD analysis, 16S rDNA sequencing and physiological tests allowed 33 different strains belonging to 10 species of Lactobacillus to be characterized. RAPD analysis revealed the heterogeneity of both the Lact. kefiri and Lact. paracasei species. The sequence analysis of the large 16S/23S rRNA spacer region enabled Lact. plantarum to be distinguished from Lact. paraplantarum, two closely related species belonging to the Lact. plantarum group. The recovery of strains endowed with interesting physiological characteristics, such as strong stress resistance, could improve technological and/or organoleptic characteristics of Ricotta forte cheese and other fermented foods.