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Characterisation of the Microflora Contaminating the Wooden Vats Used for Traditional Sicilian Cheese Production
- Scatassa, Maria Luisa, Cardamone, Cinzia, Miraglia, Viviana, Lazzara, Fabrizio, Fiorenza, Gerlando, Macaluso, Giusi, Arcuri, Luigi, Settanni, Luca, Mancuso, Isabella
- Italian journal of food safety 2015 v.4 no.1
- Listeria monocytogenes, acidification, antibacterial properties, biodiversity, cheesemaking, cheeses, dairy equipment, food pathogens, lactic acid bacteria, milk, spoilage, tanks, wood
- Traditional Sicilian cheese productions are carried out employing traditional wooden vats, called tina. Many studies have highlighted the beneficial role of wooden dairy equipment by contributing to enriching the milk microflora and improving the acidification processes. The present work was undertaken to evaluate the safety of the wooden vats used to coagulate milk. To this purpose, the different microbial populations hosted onto the internal surfaces of the vats used to produce two different stretched cheeses, namely Caciocavallo Palermitano and Vastedda della valle del Belìce DOP, were investigated for the presence of spoilage and pathogenic microorganisms as well as for bacteria with inhibitory effect in vitro against pathogenic microorganisms. A wide biodiversity of protechnological lactic acid bacteria (LAB), in terms of species, was revealed. Several LAB inhibited the growth of Listeria monocytogenes ATCC 7644. The wooden vats analysed resulted safe for three main findings: absence of the main pathogenic species, presence of high levels of LAB, anti-Listeria activity of many LAB.