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See detailMicrobiota characterization of a protected designation of origin Belgian cheese: Herve cheese, using metagenomic analysis.
Delcenserie, Véronique ULiege; Taminiau, Bernard ULiege; Delhalle, Laurent ULiege et al

in Journal of Dairy Science (2014), 97

Herve cheese is a Belgian soft cheese with a washed rind, and is made from raw or pasteurized milk. The specific microbiota of this cheese has never previously been fully explored and the use of raw or ... [more ▼]

Herve cheese is a Belgian soft cheese with a washed rind, and is made from raw or pasteurized milk. The specific microbiota of this cheese has never previously been fully explored and the use of raw or pasteurized milk in addition to starters is assumed to affect the microbiota of the rind and the heart. The aim of the study was to analyze the bacterial microbiota of Herve cheese using classical microbiology and a metagenomic approach based on 16S ribosomal DNA pyrosequencing. Using classical microbiology, the total counts of bacteria were comparable for the 11 samples of tested raw and pasteurized milk cheeses, reaching almost 8 log cfu/g. Using the metagenomic approach, 207 different phylotypes were identified. The rind of both the raw and pasteurized milk cheeses was found to be highly diversified. However, 96.3 and 97.9% of the total microbiota of the raw milk and pasteurized cheese rind, respectively, were composed of species present in both types of cheese, such as Corynebacterium casei, Psychrobacter spp., Lactococcus lactis ssp. cremoris, Staphylococcus equorum, Vagococcus salmoninarum, and other species present at levels below 5%. Brevibacterium linens were present at low levels (0.5 and 1.6%, respectively) on the rind of both the raw and the pasteurized milk cheeses, even though this bacterium had been inoculated during the manufacturing process. Interestingly, Psychroflexus casei, also described as giving a red smear to Raclettetype cheese, was identified in small proportions in the composition of the rind of both the raw and pasteurized milk cheeses (0.17 and 0.5%, respectively). In the heart of the cheeses, the common species of bacteria reached more than 99%. The main species identified were Lactococcus lactis ssp. cremoris, Psychrobacter spp., and Staphylococcus equorum ssp. equorum. Interestingly, 93 phylotypes were present only in the raw milk cheeses and 29 only in the pasteurized milk cheeses, showing the high diversity of the microbiota. Corynebacterium casei and Enterococcus faecalis were more prevalent in the raw milk cheeses, whereas Psychrobacter celer was present in the pasteurized milk cheeses. However, this specific microbiota represented a low proportion of the cheese microbiota. This study demonstrated that Herve cheese microbiota is rich and that pasteurized milk cheeses are microbiologically very close to raw milk cheeses, probably due to the similar manufacturing process. The characterization of the microbiota of this particular protected designation of origin cheese was useful in enabling us to gain a better knowledge of the bacteria responsible for the character of this cheese. [less ▲]

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