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Technological characterization of bacteriocin producing Lactococcus lactis strains employed to control Listeria monocytogenes in Cottage cheese

Dal Bello, Barbara, Cocolin, Luca, Zeppa, Giuseppe, Field, Des, Cotter, Paul D., Hill, Colin
International journal of food microbiology 2012 v.153 no.1-2 pp. 58-65
Lactococcus lactis, Listeria monocytogenes, antimicrobial peptides, biopreservatives, cheese starters, cottage cheese, fermented foods, food preservatives, lactic acid bacteria, manufacturing, nisin, pathogens, spoilage
In recent years, there has been a particular focus on the application of antimicrobial compounds produced by lactic acid bacteria (LAB) as natural preservatives to control the growth of spoilage and pathogenic bacteria in food. Bacteriocins are antimicrobial peptides which can be added to foods in concentrated forms as food preservatives, e.g. additives, or they can be produced in situ by starters or protective cultures. In this study, twenty Lactococcus lactis bacteriocin producers previously isolated from Italian fermented foods were subjected to a variety of physical and biochemical tests in order to identify those with the greatest potential as starter cultures in cheese production. Of these, four strains isolated from cheese (one nisin Z producer, one nisin A producer and two lacticin 481 producers) which fulfilled the desired technological criteria were assessed for their ability to control Listeria monocytogenes. The subsequent application of these bacteriocinogenic strains as starter cultures in Cottage cheese established that the nisin A producing Lact. lactis 40FEL3, and to a lesser extent the lacticin 481 producers 32FL1 and 32FL3, successfully controlled the growth of the pathogen. This is the first study to directly compare the ability of nisin A, nisin Z and lacticin 481 producing strains to control listerial growth during the manufacture and storage of Cottage cheese.