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Large-scale mapping of microbial diversity in artisanal Brazilian cheeses

Kamimura, Bruna Akie, De Filippis, Francesca, Sant’Ana, Anderson S., Ercolini, Danilo
Food microbiology 2019 v.80 pp. 40-49
Enterobacteriaceae, Lactobacillus, Lactococcus, Leuconostoc, Staphylococcus, Streptococcus, artisan cheese, cheese quality, lactic acid bacteria, microbial contamination, microbial ecology, provenance, raw milk, screening, starter cultures, traditional technology, Brazil
Brazilian artisanal cheeses are characterized by the use of raw milk and in some cases, natural starter cultures, known as “pingo”, as well as following simple and traditional manufacturing technology. In this study, a large-scale screening of the microbial ecology of 11 different types of artisanal cheeses produced in five geographical areas of Brazil was performed. Besides, the specific origin-related microbial signatures were identified. Clear geography- and technology-based differences in the microbiota were observed. Lactic acid bacteria dominated in all cheeses although Enterobacteriaceae and Staphylococcus also occurred in North, Northeast and Central cheeses. Differences in the lactic acid bacteria patterns were also highlighted: Streptococcus, Leuconostoc, Lactococcus and Lactobacillus were differently combined in terms of relative abundance according to product type and region of production. This study provides a comprehensive, unprecedented microbiological mapping of Brazilian cheeses, highlighting the impact of geographical origin and mode of production on microbial diversity. The results obtained will help to plan an evaluation of microbial contamination sources that will need to be studied for the improvement of cheese quality and safety.