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Microbial shifts in Minas artisanal cheeses from the Serra do Salitre region of Minas Gerais, Brazil throughout ripening time

Sant'Anna, Felipe Machado, Wetzels, Stefanie Urimarie, Cicco, Sávio Henrique Sandes, Figueiredo, Ranier Chaves, Sales, Gilson Assis, Figueiredo, Naiara Chaves, Nunes, Cantini Alvaro, Schmitz-Esser, Stephan, Mann, Evelyne, Wagner, Martin, Souza, Marcelo Resende
Food microbiology 2019 v.82 pp. 349-362
Leuconostocaceae, Planococcaceae, Streptococcaceae, acidity, artisan cheese, bacteria, bacterial communities, cheese ripening, environmental factors, flavor, genes, raw milk, ribosomal RNA, starter cultures, Brazil
The Minas artisanal cheese is a traditional product in its way of producing. Produced in the Minas Gerais state, Brazil, this cheese is made using raw cow's milk with the addition of an endogenous starter culture called “pingo”, responsible for inoculating specific microorganisms that could enhance flavor and sensorial aspects. There are seven regions able to produce and commercialize this product - Araxá, Campo das Vertentes, Canastra Cerrado, Serra do Salitre, Serro and Triângulo Mineiro. This study aimed to assess the bacterial community of raw milk, endogenous starter culture and to uncover possible shifts in the bacterial community of the rind and core of cheeses at sixty days of ripening located in the Serra do Salitre region by Illumina MiSeq 16S rRNA gene amplicon sequencing. Raw milk and starter culture are responsible for inoculating specific bacteria into the cheese, with Planococcaceae and Streptococcaceae being prevalent throughout ripening time. The Planococcaceae family seems to develop strong interactions with the Leuconostocaceae family on the surface of these cheeses, and is associated with environmental aspects of the region, probably leading to a microbial signature of these products. Additionally, abiotic factors such as geographical location, moisture and acidity are major drivers in the microbial shift.