Publications by authors named "Elena Franciosi"

27 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

Massive Survey on Bacterial-Bacteriophages Biodiversity and Quality of Natural Whey Starter Cultures in Trentingrana Cheese Production.

Front Microbiol 2021 14;12:678012. Epub 2021 Jun 14.

Food Quality and Nutrition Department, Research and Innovation Centre, Fondazione Edmund Mach (FEM), San Michele all'Adige, Italy.

This study focused on the microbial and bacteriophages identification and characterization in cheese-production facilities that use natural whey starter (NWS) cultures for Trentingrana production. Bacterial and phage screening was carried out on cooked not acidified whey and NWS samples isolated from six dairy factories, for 4 consecutive days in four different months. By means of a combined approach, using plate counts, bacterial isolation, and metataxonomic analysis was found occurring as the dominant species in NWS cultures and as codominant in the cheese factories where the temperature of NWS production was mainly lower than 40°C, suggesting that the variability in the parameters of the NWS culture preparation could differently modulate the bacterial species in NWS cultures. Using turbidity test approach on 303 bacterial isolates from the NWS cultures, 120 distinct phages were identified. phage contamination of NWS cultures was revealed in most of the analyzed samples, but despite the great recovery of bacteriophage contamination cases, the microbial quality of NWS cultures was high. Our results support the presence of natural bacteriophage resistance mechanisms in . The use of NWS cultures probably creates an ideal environment for the proliferation of different strains balanced with their phages without a clear dominance. It is evident, from this study, that the presence of a high biodiversity of NWS bacterial strains is relevant to avoid phages dominance in NWS cultures and consequently to keep a good acidification ability.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fmicb.2021.678012DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8236940PMC
June 2021

Selenium bio-enrichment of Mediterranean fruit juices through lactic acid fermentation.

Int J Food Microbiol 2021 May 24:109248. Epub 2021 May 24.

Department of Agricultural, Food and Forest Science, Università degli Studi di Palermo, Viale delle Scienze 4, 90128 Palermo, Italy. Electronic address:

This work was carried out to elaborate selenium (Se) bio-enriched fermented Mediterranean fruit juices. To this purpose, pomegranate and table red grape juices were added with sodium selenite (NaSeO) and fermented by Levilactobacillus brevis CRL 2051 and Fructobacillus tropaeoli CRL 2034 individually or combined. To better evaluate the effect of selenite addition and starter strain inoculums on the total bacterial community of the fruit juices, fermentation trials were performed with raw and pasteurized fruit juices. No statistical significant differences were observed for total mesophilic microorganisms (TMM) and rod-shaped lactic acid bacteria (LAB) levels among raw and pasteurized juices inoculated with the starter strains, while significant differences between those juices with and without selenite were registered. LAB cocci, Pseudomonadaceae and yeasts were detected only for the raw juice preparations. The dominance of L. brevis CRL 2051 and F. tropaeoli CRL 2034 was confirmed by randomly amplified polymorphic DNA (RAPD)-PCR analysis. After fermentation, pH dropped for all inoculated trials and control raw juices. The soluble solid content (SSC) levels of the raw juices were higher than the corresponding pasteurized trials. The thermal treatment affected consistently yellowness of grape juice trials and redness of pomegranate juices. No microbial Se accumulation was registered for pomegranate juices, while F. tropaeoli CRL 2034 accumulated the highest amount of Se (65.5 μg/L) in the grape juice. For this reason, only trials carried out with raw grape juices were investigated by metagenomics analysis by Illumina MiSeq technology. Non-inoculated grape juices were massively fermented by acetic acid bacteria while Fructobacillus and Lactobacillus (previous genus name of Levilactobacillus) represented the highest operational taxonomy units (OTUs) relative abundance % of the trials inoculated with the starter strains as confirmed by this technique.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ijfoodmicro.2021.109248DOI Listing
May 2021

Microbial community dynamics in phyto-thermotherapy baths viewed through next generation sequencing and metabolomics approach.

Sci Rep 2020 10 21;10(1):17931. Epub 2020 Oct 21.

Research and Innovation Centre, AgriFood Quality and Nutrition Department, Fondazione Edmund Mach (FEM), Via E. Mach 1, 38010, San Michele all'Adige, Italy.

Phyto-thermotherapy is a treatment consisting in immersing oneself in baths of self-heating alpine grass, to benefit of the heat and rich aromatic components released by the process. The aim of this study was to characterize the bacterial and fungal diversity of three phyto-thermal baths (PTB) performed in three different months, and to compare the data with the profile of the volatile organic compounds (VOCs) of the process. All the data collected showed that PTBs were structured in two stages: the first three days were characterised by an exponential rise of the temperature, a fast bacterial development, higher microbial diversity and higher concentrations of plant aliphatic hydrocarbons. The second stage was characterised by a stable high temperature, shrinkage of the microbial diversity with a predominance of few bacterial and fungi species and higher concentrations of volatiles of microbial origin. Erwinia was the dominant microbial species during the first stage and probably responsible of the self-heating process. In conclusion, PTBs has shown both similarities with common self-heating processes and important peculiarities such as the absence of pathogenic bacteria and the dominance of plant terpenoids with health characteristics among the VOCs confirming the evidence of beneficial effects in particular in the first three days.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41598-020-74586-9DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7578836PMC
October 2020

Addition of selected starter/non-starter lactic acid bacterial inoculums to stabilise PDO Pecorino Siciliano cheese production.

Food Res Int 2020 10 20;136:109335. Epub 2020 May 20.

Dipartimento Scienze Agrarie, Alimentari e Forestali, Università degli Studi di Palermo, Viale delle Scienze Ed. 5, 90128 Palermo, Italy.

The present study was carried out to produce Protected Denomination of Origin (PDO) Pecorino Siciliano cheese with a multi-species lactic acid bacteria (LAB) culture, composed of starter and non-starter strains in order to reduce the microbiological variability of the products derived without LAB inoculums. To this end, cheese samples produced in six factories located in five provinces (Agrigento, Catania, Enna, Palermo and Trapani) of Sicily, and previously characterised for physicochemical, microbiological and sensory aspects, have been investigated in this work for bacterial microbiome, fatty acid (FA) composition as well as volatile organic compound (VOC) profiles. Analysis of the cheese microbiomes indicated that streptococci (30.62-77.18% relative abundance) and lactobacilli (on average 25.90% relative abundance) dominated the bacterial communities of control cheeses, produced without exogenous inoculums, whereas the cheeses produced with the selected multi-strain culture saw the dominance of lactococci (in the range 6.49-14.92% relative abundance), streptococci and lactobacilli. After the addition of the selected mixed culture, Shannon index increased in all cheeses, but only the cheeses produced with the selected LAB mixed culture in the factory 2 showed Gini-Simpson diversity index (0.79) closer to the reference value (0.94) for a perfect even community. FA composition, mainly represented by saturated FA (on average 69.60% and 69.39% in control cheeses and experimental cheeses, respectively), was not affected by adding LAB culture. The presence of polyunsaturated FA ranged between 7.93 and 8.03% of FA. VOC profiles were different only for the content of butanoic acid, registered for the experimental cheeses at higher concentrations (on average 662.54 mg/kg) than control cheeses (barely 11.96 mg/kg). This study validated addition of the ad hoc starter/non-starter culture for PDO Pecorino cheese production.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.foodres.2020.109335DOI Listing
October 2020

Molecular analysis of the dominant lactic acid bacteria of chickpea liquid starters and doughs and propagation of chickpea sourdoughs with selected Weissella confusa.

Food Microbiol 2020 Oct 1;91:103490. Epub 2020 Apr 1.

Cukurova University, Faculty of Agriculture, Department of Food Engineering, 01330, Adana, Turkey. Electronic address:

Fermented chickpea liquid is used as a leavening agent in chickpea bread production. In the present study, traditional chickpea liquid starter and dough samples were collected from bakeries in Turkey and microbiologically investigated. Culture-independent analysis for microbiota diversity, performed by MiSeq Illumina, identified Clostridium perfringens as major group in all samples, while Weissella spp. Dominated LAB community. A culture-dependent methodology was applied and 141 isolates were confirmed to be members of the LAB group based on 16s rRNA gene sequence analysis. In particular, 11 different LAB species were identified confirming the high frequency of isolation of weissellas, since Weissella confusa and Weissella cibaria constituted 47.8 and 12.4%, respectively, of total LAB isolated. The other species were Enterococcus faecium, Enterococcus lactis, Lactobacillus brevis, Lactobacillus plantarum, Leuconostoc mesenteroides, Leuconostoc mesenteroides subsp. Dextranium, Pediococcus acidilactici, Pediococcus pentosaceus and Streptococcus lutetiensis. Due to high frequency of isolation, W. confusa strains were investigated at technological level and W. confusa RL1139 was used as mono-culture starter in the experimental chickpea sourdough production. Chemical and microbiological properties, as well as volatile organic compounds (VOCs) of the chickpea liquid starters and doughs were subjected to a multivariate analysis. Control and W. confusa inoculated chickpea liquid starter and dough samples were close to each other in terms of some characteristics related to chemical, microbiological and VOCs profile, but the inoculated sourdough showed a higher generation of certain VOCs, like butanoic acid (81.52%) and ethyl acetate (8.15%) than control sourdough. This is important in order to maintain typical characteristics of the traditional chickpea dough, but at the same time improving the aroma profile. This work demonstrated that W. confusa RL1139 can be applied at large scale production level without compromising the typical characteristics of the final product.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.fm.2020.103490DOI Listing
October 2020

Shift in the cow milk microbiota during alpine pasture as analyzed by culture dependent and high-throughput sequencing techniques.

Food Microbiol 2020 Oct 8;91:103504. Epub 2020 Apr 8.

Research and Innovation Centre, Food Quality and Nutrition Department, Fondazione Edmund Mach (FEM), San Michele all' Adige, TN, Italy. Electronic address:

In the present study, two groups of cows from a permanent lowland farm (PF) were divided during summer and reared in the PF or in a temporary alpine farm (ALP), respectively. Microbiological analyses were performed with the objective to investigate the microbial evolution of milk before, during, and after summer transhumance comparing, in particular, the two groups of cows to determine whether the alpine pasture could directly influence the milk microbiota. A significant increase of all microbial groups was registered in milk samples collected in the ALP. Interestingly, many strains belonging to species with well reported technological and probiotic activities were isolated from Alpine milk (20% Lactococcus lactis subsp. lactis/cremoris, 18% Lactobacillus paracasei, 14% Bifidobacterium crudilactis and 18% Propionibacterium sp.), whereas only 16% of strains isolated from the permanent farm milk belonged to the species Lactococcus lactis subsp. lactis/cremoris, 6% to Lactobacillus paracasei, 2% to Bifidobacterium crudilactis and 5% to Propionibacterium sp. The MiSeq Illumina data showed that Alpine milk presented a significant reduction of Pseudomonas and an increase of Lactococcus, Bifidobacterium and Lactobacillus genera. These data confirmed the practice of Alpine pasture as one of the main drivers affecting the milk microbiota. All the microbial changes disappeared when cows were delivered back from Alpine pasture to the indoor farm.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.fm.2020.103504DOI Listing
October 2020

Microbial dynamics in durum wheat kernels during aging.

Int J Food Microbiol 2020 Jul 13;324:108631. Epub 2020 Apr 13.

Dipartimento Scienze Agrarie, Alimentari e Forestali, Università di Palermo, Viale delle Scienze 4, 90128 Palermo, Italy.

In the present work the microbial dynamics in wheat kernels were evaluated over time. The main aim of this research was to study the resistance of lactic acid bacteria (LAB) and yeasts associated to unprocessed cereals used for bread making during long term conservation. To this purpose four Triticum durum Desf. genotypes including two modern varieties (Claudio and Simeto) and two Sicilian wheat landraces (Russello and Timilia) were analysed by a combined culture-independent and -dependent microbiological approach after one, two or three years from cultivation and threshing. DNA based MiSeq Illumina technology was applied to reveal the entire bacterial composition of all semolina samples. The samples showed a different distribution of bacterial taxa per variety and time of storage. The groups mostly represented were Stenotrophomonas, Pseudomonas, Erwinia, Delftia and Sphingomonas genera, Enterobacteriaceae and Oxalobacteriaceae families, and Actinobacteria phylum. Among LAB, only Enterococcus genus was detected barely in a single sample (Simeto stored for one year) by the next generation sequencing, indicating that LAB remained unassigned or their abundances were below 0.1% or their DNAs were rendered inaccessible. Plate counts showed consistent differences in relation to genotypes and duration of storage, with the highest levels found for total mesophilic microorganisms detected up 6.8 Log CFU/g. Colonies of presumptive sourdough LAB were detected only in a few samples. Cocci constituted the major group of LAB in almost all samples. Following the enrichment procedure, almost all samples were characterised by the presence of acidifying microorganisms. All isolates collected before and after enrichment represented 28 different strains belonging to 10 species of Enterococcus, Lactobacillus and Pediococcus genera. The most resistant species during aging were Enterococcus faecium, Enterococcus durans, Lactobacillus brevis, Lactobacillus pentosus and Lactobacillus paracasei demonstrating that lactobacilli and enterococci are able to overcome the stressing conditions represented by cereal storage better than other LAB genera commonly found associated to cereals after harvest. Yeast community included mostly species with no interest in bread making.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ijfoodmicro.2020.108631DOI Listing
July 2020

Evolution of indigenous starter microorganisms and physicochemical parameters in spontaneously fermented beef, horse, wild boar and pork salamis produced under controlled conditions.

Food Microbiol 2020 May 21;87:103385. Epub 2019 Nov 21.

Dipartimento Scienze Agrarie, Alimentari e Forestali, Università di Palermo, Viale Delle Scienze 4, 90128, Palermo, Italy. Electronic address:

The present work was carried out to evaluate the microbiological and physicochemical composition of salamis produced with the meat of beef, horse, wild boar and pork. Salami productions occurred under controlled laboratory conditions to exclude butchery environmental contaminations, without the addition of nitrate and nitrite. All trials were monitored during the ripening (13 °C and 90% relative humidity) extended until 45 d. The evolution of physicochemical parameters showed that beef and pork salamis were characterized by a higher content of branched chain fatty acids (FA) and rumenic acid than horse and wild boar salamis, whereas the last two productions showed higher values of secondary lipid oxidation. Plate counts showed that lactic acid bacteria (LAB), yeasts and coagulase-negative staphylococci (CNS) populations dominated the microbial community of all productions with Lactobacillus and Staphylococcus as most frequently isolated bacteria. The microbial diversity evaluated by MiSeq Illumina showed the presence of members of Gammaproteobacteria phylum, Moraxellaceae family, Acinetobacter, Pseudomonas, Carnobacterium and Enterococcus in all salamis. This study showed the natural evolution of indigenous fermented meat starter cultures and confirmed a higher suitability of horse and beef meat for nitrate/nitrite free salami production due to their hygienic quality at 30 d.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.fm.2019.103385DOI Listing
May 2020

Hermetia illucens in diets for zebrafish (Danio rerio): A study of bacterial diversity by using PCR-DGGE and metagenomic sequencing.

PLoS One 2019 10;14(12):e0225956. Epub 2019 Dec 10.

Dipartimento di Scienze Agrarie, Alimentari ed Ambientali, Università Politecnica delle Marche, Ancona, Italy.

In the present research, bacterial diversity was studied during a 6-month feeding trial utilizing zebrafish (Danio rerio) fed Hermetia illucens reared on different substrates with an emphasis on fish gut bacterial diversity. A polyphasic approach based on viable counting, PCR-DGGE and metagenomic 16S rRNA gene amplicon target sequencing was applied. Two different H. illucens groups were reared on coffee by-products (C) or a mixture of vegetables (S). Viable counts showed a wide variability based on substrate. PCR-DGGE and Illumina sequencing allowed the major and minor bacterial taxa to be detected. Both samples of larvae and their frass reared on the S substrate showed the highest richness and evenness of bacterial communities, whereas zebrafish (ZHC) fed H. illucens reared on substrate C and zebrafish (ZHS) fed H. illucens reared on substrate S had the lowest bacterial richness and evenness. A stimulating effect of bioactive compounds from coffee by-products on the occurrence of Lactobacillaceae and Leuconostoccaceae in H. illucens reared on substrate C has been hypothesized. Zebrafish gut samples originating from the two feeding trials showed complex microbial patterns in which Actinobacteria and Alteromonadales were always detected, irrespective of the diet used. Enterobacteriaceae in fish guts were more abundant in ZHS than in ZHC, thus suggesting an influence of the bioactive compounds (chlorogenic and caffeic acids) in the substrate on Enterobacteriaceae in fish guts. ZHC showed a higher abundance of Clostridia than did ZHS, which was likely explained by stimulating activity on the bacteria in this class by the bioactive compounds contained in H. illucens reared on substrate C. An influence of the microbiota of H. illucens or insect-derived bioactive compounds on the gut microbiota of zebrafish has been suggested. The presence of bacteria consistently associated with zebrafish guts has been found irrespective of the diet, thus attesting to the likely stability of the core fish microbiota.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0225956PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6903733PMC
March 2020

Persistence of a mixed lactic acid bacterial starter culture during lysine fortification of sourdough breads by addition of pistachio powder.

Food Microbiol 2020 Apr 17;86:103349. Epub 2019 Oct 17.

Dipartimento Scienze Agrarie, Alimentari e Forestali, Ed. 5, Università Degli Studi di Palermo, Viale Delle Scienze, 90128, Palermo, Italy. Electronic address:

Pistachio powder was added to flour or semolina to evaluate its contribution to increase the amount of lysine in bread. Bread production was carried out by sourdough technology using a selected 3-species (Lactobacillus sanfranciscensis/Leuconostoc citreum/Weissella cibaria) lactic acid bacterial (LAB) starter culture. All sourdoughs were subjected to a long-time fermentation (21 h) and showed levels of LAB around 10 CFU/g, indicating the suitability of pistachio powder for lactic fermentation. Yeasts were also detected, in particular in semolina trials. MiSeq Illumina technology was applied to investigate the bacterial composition of sourdoughs evidencing a different distribution of LAB species among the trials with Lactobacillus as major LAB group in almost all sourdoughs. Physicochemical parameters were comparable among the trials. After baking, pistachio powder was found not to influence the height of the breads, but pistachio breads were more firm than control breads. Color of the breads, void fraction and cell density, were influenced by pistachio powder. The amount of lysine increased consistently thanks to pistachio supplementation which also determined a higher presence of o-xylene, p-cymene and limonene and the appearance of α-pinene and 1-octen-3-ol in breads. Sensory tests showed the best appreciation scores for the breads produced with flour and pistachio powder.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.fm.2019.103349DOI Listing
April 2020

Transformation of raw ewes' milk applying "Grana" type pressed cheese technology: Development of extra-hard "Gran Ovino" cheese.

Int J Food Microbiol 2019 Oct 29;307:108277. Epub 2019 Jul 29.

Dipartimento Scienze Agrarie, Alimentari e Forestali, Università degli Studi di Palermo, Viale delle Scienze 4, 90128 Palermo, Italy. Electronic address:

This work was carried out to pursue a double objective: to improve the hygienic safety of cheeses produced from raw ewes' milk; and to produce a new typology of raw ewes' milk through the application of "Grana" technology for which the name "Gran Ovino" was chosen. With this in mind, raw milk from an individual farm was transformed under controlled conditions at a dairy pilot plant. The production technology included the partial skimming of the evening and morning milk mixture by cream surfacing and the addition of a natural whey starter cultures (NWSC) prepared with four selected Streptococcus thermophilus strains (PON6, PON244, PON261 e PON413). Ten microbial groups were investigated by plate counts from raw milk until ripened cheeses. Lactic acid bacteria (LAB) were in the range 10-10 CFU/ml before NWSC addition. After curdling, this group increased by 3 log cycles and was counted at 10 CFU/g after curd cooking. A rapid pH drop (to 6.05) was registered after almost 3 h from NWSC addition. The levels of members of the Enterobacteriaceae family were at about 10 CFU/ml in raw milk and decreased after curd cooking to 1 log cycle. A similar behavior was shown by the other undesired microbial groups and a complete disappearance of staphylococci was registered. The microbiological counts of 9-month ripened cheeses showed the dominance of LAB and undetectable levels of the undesired bacteria. MiSeq Illumina was applied to better investigate the bacterial composition of ripened cheeses and this technique evidenced that the majority of OTUs belonged to Lactobacillus and Streptococcus genera. The final cheeses were characterized by 67.65% dry matter of which 41.85% of fats and 47.02% of proteins. The main cheese fatty acids were palmitic, oleic and myristic acids and the saturated fatty acids/unsaturated fatty acids ratio was 2.17. Forty-one volatile compounds, including acids, esters, ketones, alcohols, aldehydes, phenols and one terpene were emitted from the cheese. Sensory evaluation showed a general appreciation for the new cheese product by judges.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ijfoodmicro.2019.108277DOI Listing
October 2019

Effects of Summer Transhumance of Dairy Cows to Alpine Pastures on Body Condition, Milk Yield and Composition, and Cheese Making Efficiency.

Animals (Basel) 2019 Apr 24;9(4). Epub 2019 Apr 24.

Department of Agronomy, Food, Natural resources, Animals and Environment (DAFNAE), University of Padova, Viale dell'Università 16, 35020 Legnaro (PD), Italy.

Summer transhumance to alpine pastures (ALP) is widespread in dairy systems of alpine regions. This study aimed to investigate the effects of transhumance of Brown Swiss cows to ALP on the yield, composition, and coagulation properties of milk (MCP), and on cheese yield (CY). The study involved 12 multiparous cows kept at a mountain lowland permanent farm (PF), which were divided into two equal groups: One remained at the PF, the other was moved to the ALP (1860 m above sea level) from July to September. Every month (June to October), daily milk yield (MY) and body condition score (BCS) were recorded, and individual milk samples ( = 60, 2000 mL each) were collected to assess milk composition, MCP, and CY. Compared with PF, ALP cows had a reduced MY and BCS, which was maintained on return to the PF, greater fat and lower protein contents of milk. Neither MCP nor CY were affected by summer transhumance. In conclusion, summer transhumance did not affect the cheese making efficiency of milk but depressed MY and consequently daily cheese yield, which was nearly 2 kg/d lower for the ALP than the PF cows and was only partially recovered after returning to the PF in autumn.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/ani9040192DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6523363PMC
April 2019

Production of Naturally γ-Aminobutyric Acid-Enriched Cheese Using the Dairy Strains 84C and DSM 32386.

Front Microbiol 2019 13;10:93. Epub 2019 Feb 13.

Research and Innovation Centre, Food Quality and Nutrition Department, Fondazione Edmund Mach (FEM), San Michele all'Adige, Italy.

The cheese-derived strains 84C isolated from Nostrano cheese, and DSM 32386 isolated from Traditional Mountain Malga cheese have been previously reported as γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA)-producers . In the present study, the ability of these strains to produce GABA was studied in experimental raw milk cheeses, with the aim to investigate the effect of the culture and the ripening time on the GABA concentration. The cultures used consisted on 84C alone (84C) or in combination with DSM 32386 (84C-DSM). The control culture was a commercial strain, which was tested alone (CTRL) or in combination with the DSM 32386 (CTRL-DSM). The pH evolution, microbiological counts, MiSeq Illumina and UHPLC-HQOMS analysis on milk and cheese samples were performed after 2, 9, and 20 days ripening. During the whole ripening, the pH was always under 5.5 in all batches. The concentration of GABA increased during ripening, with the highest content in 84C after 9 days ripening (84 ± 37 mg/kg), in 84C-DSM and CTRL-DSM after 20 days ripening (91 ± 28 and 88 ± 24 mg/kg, respectively). The data obtained support the hypothesis that 84C and DSM 32386 could be exploited as functional cultures, improving the bio-synthesis of GABA during cheese ripening.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fmicb.2019.00093DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6381070PMC
February 2019

Evaluation of autochthonous lactic acid bacteria as starter and non-starter cultures for the production of Traditional Mountain cheese.

Food Res Int 2019 01 25;115:209-218. Epub 2018 Aug 25.

Research and Innovation Centre, AgriFood Quality and Nutrition Department, Fondazione Edmund Mach (FEM), Via E. Mach 1, 38010 San Michele all'Adige, Italy. Electronic address:

Lactococcus lactis subsp. lactis 68, Streptococcus thermophilus 93 and Lactobacillus rhamnosus BT68, previously isolated from Traditional Mountain (TM) cheese, were tested for the production of four experimental mountain cheeses, with the aim to assess their effectiveness in leading the TM-cheese-making process. Lactococcus lactis subsp. lactis 68 and Streptococcus thermophilus 93 were used as starter cultures, whereas Lactobacillus rhamnosus BT68 was used as non-starter culture. Three control (CTRL) cheeses were manufactured without adding any starter, according to the traditional cheese-making process; nine, cheeses were produced inoculating the vat milk with the starters (ST), starter and low concentration of non-starter culture (STLC), starter and high concentration of non-starter culture (STHC). Samples of vat milk, cheese after 24 h and 7 months ripening were processed for microbiological counts. Mesophilic cocci were dominant in all 24 h-cheese samples, while a dominance of both cocci and lactobacilli was observed after 7 months ripening. The total genomic DNA was extracted, and a fragment of V1-V3 region was amplified and pyrosequenced. Lactococci and streptococci were the most abundant species, and Lc. lactis ssp. lactis 68 affected the proliferation of milk-resident Lc. lactis ssp. cremoris, during the early fermentation. Lb. rhamnosus BT68 showed to be responsible in reducing the abundance of other Lactobacillus species. Moreover, it likely competed against Sc. thermophilus 93 for the same energetic sources, when added in concentration higher than 5 × 10 CFU/mL milk. The sensorial and fatty acid (FA) composition analysis were performed on cheese samples at the end of ripening, demonstrating that the inoculated cheeses had better sensorial characteristics (aspect, smell, taste, texture) than CTRL cheeses, and that Lb. rhamnosus BT68 at high concentration is related to the increase of short chain fatty acids and conjugated linoleic acid in cheese after 7 months ripening.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.foodres.2018.08.069DOI Listing
January 2019

Applying novel approaches for GC × GC-TOF-MS data cleaning and trends clustering in VOCs time-series analysis: Following the volatiles fate in grass baths through passive diffusion sampling.

J Chromatogr B Analyt Technol Biomed Life Sci 2018 Oct 12;1096:56-65. Epub 2018 Jul 12.

Research and Innovation Centre, Fondazione Edmund Mach (FEM), Via E. Mach 1, 38010 San Michele all'Adige, TN, Italy; University of Trento, Center Agriculture Food Environment (CAFÉ), 38010 San Michele all'Adige, TN, Italy.

Phytothermotherapy ("grass baths") is a traditional phytotherapy for rheumatism consisting of taking baths in hot fermenting grass. Scientific studies have demonstrated its efficiency in treating several rheumatic diseases. However the efficiency and repeatability of the therapy is dependent on the wild fermentations, determining sometimes the appearance of unpleasant conditions leading to the early abandonment of the therapy. The metabolism undergoing in the grass baths is unknown and there is not an established method to evaluate and predict grass baths quality. The aim of this study is to establish a simple VOCs profiling method able to evaluate the grass baths, predicting their evolution, through the identification of marker volatiles related to the best conditions and/or the spoilage. After replicating in real scale the traditional grass baths, the volatile profiles were measured using passive diffusion samplers injected in a thermal desorption-comprehensive GC × GC-TOF-MS. The high dimensionality of the data coupled with the limited number of time points, required a rigorous method development for the analysis of the data, achieved through the development of a novel R package for variable selection in GC × GC data matrices. The further application of a fuzzy clustering approach demonstrated to be a useful tool dealing with short time series, allowing to discard un-trending volatiles and giving a clear snapshot of the main trends in the data. A broad coverage of the volatolome was provided, thus suitable to describe the main metabolic changes ongoing in the grass baths. Coupling this data with the temperature and pH, and comparing it to the data from similar processes, like silage and compost, we demonstrated that the established method can be helpful to evaluate short time series, allowing us to obtain a list of volatiles as candidate markers for the quality of the grass baths. The established method gave a list of markers applicable to real scale grass baths to predict spoilage; furthermore it provides a list of volatiles where to search for candidate markers with reported health-related effects and can be used to generate hypothesis on the mechanisms of action of the treatment.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jchromb.2018.07.012DOI Listing
October 2018

Microbial dynamics of model Fabriano-like fermented sausages as affected by starter cultures, nitrates and nitrites.

Int J Food Microbiol 2018 Aug 21;278:61-72. Epub 2018 Apr 21.

Istituto Zooprofilattico Sperimentale dell'Umbria e delle Marche, via Salvemini, Perugia, Italy.

The present study promotes the valorization of Fabriano-like fermented sausages, which are central-Italy salami with an origin that dates to the early 17th century, for the possible future selection of autochthonous starter cultures to be used with respect to local traditions. To the best of the authors' knowledge, this study represents the first attempt to define the microbial dynamics in Fabriano-like fermented sausage and the effect of nitrates/nitrites and starter cultures on its natural bacterial biota. Culture and RNA-based techniques (RT-PCR-DGGE and Illumina sequencing) were used to assess the microbial ecology of model Fabriano-like fermented sausages together with the impact of starter cultures and different nitrate and nitrite concentrations. The meat batter was used to produce two batches of fermented sausages that were prepared as follows: i) without commercial starters or ii) with the use of starter cultures composed of Pediococcus pentosaceus and Staphylococcus xylosus. Each batch was further divided into three different batches with the addition of 0/0 mg kg nitrate/nitrite, 75/60 mg kg nitrate/nitrite and 150/125 mg kg nitrate/nitrite to the first, second and third batch, respectively. The samples, which were produced in triplicate, were analyzed on the day of production and after 7, 21, and 42 days of ripening. Enterobacteriaceae counts were always higher in model Fabriano-like sausages produced without the use of starter cultures at all of the sampling times irrespective of the tested nitrate/nitrite concentrations. Lactobacilli counts were positively influenced by the starters, although this influence was not evident over time; moreover, the effect of nitrates and nitrites on the counts of lactobacilli differed over time. As a general trend, coagulase-negative cocci counts were apparently not influenced by the tested nitrate/nitrite concentrations. Regarding the effect of nitrates/nitrites on the microbial diversity revealed by RT-PCR-DGGE, the higher the concentration, the lower the presence of some genera/species such as Pseudomonas spp., Serratia liquefaciens and Staphylococcus spp. However, Illumina sequencing detected Pseudomonas spp. as a minority species after 7, 21 and 42 days of ripening irrespective of the nitrate/nitrite concentration. The presence of Staphylococcus species was highlighted by both RT-PCR-DGGE and Illumina sequencing at all of the stages of ripening, although its presence was massively detected in fermented sausages produced without the use of nitrates/nitrites at the end of ripening. Overall, the data collected clearly highlighted the dominance of Lactobacillus sakei in all of the fermented sausages during ripening (from day 7 to day 42) and irrespective of the nitrate/nitrite concentration and added starter cultures. Moreover, Pediococcus spp. was principally detected in model Fabriano-like fermented sausage with added starter cultures irrespective of the nitrate/nitrite concentration.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ijfoodmicro.2018.04.032DOI Listing
August 2018

The bacterial biota of laboratory-reared edible mealworms (Tenebrio molitor L.): From feed to frass.

Int J Food Microbiol 2018 May 7;272:49-60. Epub 2018 Mar 7.

Dipartimento di Scienze Agrarie, Alimentari ed Ambientali, Università Politecnica delle Marche, via Brecce Bianche, 60131 Ancona, Italy. Electronic address:

Tenebrio molitor represents one of the most popular species used for the large-scale conversion of plant biomass into protein and is characterized by high nutritional value. In the present laboratory study, the bacterial biota characterizing a pilot production chain of fresh T. molitor larvae was investigated. To this end, different batches of fresh mealworm larvae, their feeding substrate (wheatmeal) and frass were analyzed by viable microbial counts, PCR-DGGE and Illumina sequencing. Moreover, the occurrence of Coxiella burnetii, Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Shiga toxin-producing E. coli (STEC) was assessed through qualitative real-time PCR assays. Microbial viable counts highlighted low microbial contamination of the wheatmeal, whereas larvae and frass were characterized by high loads of Enterobacteriaceae, lactic acid bacteria, and several species of mesophilic aerobes. Spore-forming bacteria were detected to a lesser extent in all the samples. The combined molecular approach used to profile the microbiota confirmed the low microbial contamination of wheatmeal and allowed the detection of Enterobacter spp., Erwinia spp., Enterococcus spp. and Lactococcus spp. as dominant genera in both larvae and frass. Moreover, Klebsiella spp., Pantoea spp., and Xenorhabdus spp. were found to be in the minority. Entomoplasmatales (including Spiroplasma spp.) constituted a major fraction of the microbiota of one batch of larvae. From the real-time PCR assays, no sample was positive for either C. burnetii or STEC, whereas P. aeruginosa was detected in one sample of frass. Based on the overall results, two sources of microbial contamination were hypothesized, namely feeding with wheatmeal and vertical transmission of microorganisms from mother to offspring. Since mealworms are expected to be eaten as a whole, the overall outcomes collected in this laboratory study discourage the consumption of fresh mealworm larvae. Moreover, microbial loads and the absence of potential pathogens known to be associated with this insect species should be carefully assessed in order to reduce the minimum risk for consumers, by identifying the most opportune processing methods (e.g., boiling, frying, drying, etc.).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ijfoodmicro.2018.03.001DOI Listing
May 2018

A Diet Low in FODMAPs Reduces Symptoms in Patients With Irritable Bowel Syndrome and A Probiotic Restores Bifidobacterium Species: A Randomized Controlled Trial.

Gastroenterology 2017 10 15;153(4):936-947. Epub 2017 Jun 15.

Faculty of Life Sciences and Medicine, Diabetes and Nutritional Sciences Division, King's College London, London, United Kingdom. Electronic address:

Background & Aims: Dietary restriction of fermentable carbohydrates (a low FODMAP diet) has been reported to reduce symptoms in some patients with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). We performed a randomized, placebo-controlled study to determine its effects on symptoms and the fecal microbiota in patients with IBS.

Methods: We performed a 2×2 factorial trial of 104 patients with IBS (18-65 years old), based on the Rome III criteria, at 2 hospitals in the United Kingdom. Patients were randomly assigned (blinded) to groups given counselling to follow a sham diet or diet low in FODMAPs for 4 weeks, along with a placebo or multistrain probiotic formulation, resulting in 4 groups (27 receiving sham diet/placebo, 26 receiving sham diet/probiotic, 24 receiving low FODMAP diet /placebo, and 27 receiving low FODMAP diet/probiotic). The sham diet restricted a similar number of staple and non-staple foods as the low FODMAP diet; the diets had similar degrees of difficulty to follow. Dietary counselling was given to patients in all groups and data on foods eaten and compliance were collected. The incidence and severity of 15 gastrointestinal symptoms and overall symptoms were measured daily for 7 days before the study period; along with stool frequency and consistency. At baseline, global and individual symptoms were measured, along with generic and disease-specific health-related quality of life, using standard scoring systems. All data were collected again at 4 weeks, and patients answered questions about adequate symptom relief. Fecal samples were collected at baseline and after 4 weeks and analyzed by quantitative PCR and 16S rRNA sequencing. The co-primary endpoints were adequate relief of symptoms and stool Bifidobacterium species abundance at 4 weeks.

Results: There was no significant interaction between the interventions in adequate relief of symptoms (P = .52) or Bifidobacterium species (P = .68). In the intention-to-treat analysis, a higher proportion of patients in the low FODMAP diet had adequate symptom relief (57%) than in the sham diet group (38%), although the difference was not statistically significant (P = .051). In the per-protocol analysis, a significantly higher proportion of patients on the low FODMAP diet had adequate symptom relief (61%) than in the sham diet group (39%) (P = .042). Total mean IBS-Severity Scoring System score was significantly lower for patients on the low FODMAP diet (173 ± 95) than the sham diet (224 ± 89) (P = .001), but not different between those given probiotic (207 ± 98) or placebo (192 ± 93) (P = .721) Abundance of Bifidobacterium species was lower in fecal samples from patients on the low FODMAP diet (8.8 rRNA genes/g) than patients on the sham diet (9.2 rRNA genes/g) (P = .008), but higher in patients given probiotic (9.1 rRNA genes/g) than patients given placebo (8.8 rRNA genes/g) (P = .019). There was no effect of the low FODMAP diet on microbiota diversity in fecal samples.

Conclusions: In a placebo-controlled study of patients with IBS, a low FODMAP diet associates with adequate symptom relief and significantly reduced symptom scores compared with placebo. It is not clear whether changes resulted from collective FODMAP restriction or removal of a single component, such as lactose. Co-administration of the multistrain probiotic increased numbers of Bifidobacterium species, compared with placebo, and might be given to restore these bacteria to patients on a low FODMAP diet. Trial registration no: ISRCTN02275221.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1053/j.gastro.2017.06.010DOI Listing
October 2017

Impact of thistle rennet from Carlina acanthifolia All. subsp. acanthifolia on bacterial diversity and dynamics of a specialty Italian raw ewes' milk cheese.

Int J Food Microbiol 2017 Aug 22;255:7-16. Epub 2017 May 22.

Dipartimento di Scienze Agrarie, Alimentari, ed Ambientali (D3A), Università Politecnica delle Marche, via Brecce Bianche, 60131 Ancona, Italy. Electronic address:

Caciofiore della Sibilla is an Italian specialty soft cheese manufactured with Sopravissana raw ewes' milk and thistle rennet prepared with young fresh leaves and stems of Carlina acanthifolia All. subsp. acanthifolia, according to an ancient tradition deeply rooted in the territory of origin (mountainous hinterland of the Marche region, Central Italy). In this study, the impact of thistle rennet on the bacterial dynamics and diversity of Caciofiore della Sibilla cheese was investigated by applying a polyphasic approach based on culture and DNA-based techniques (Illumina sequencing and PCR-DGGE). A control cheese manufactured with the same batch of ewes' raw milk and commercial animal rennet was analyzed in parallel. Overall, a large number of bacterial taxa were identified, including spoilage, environmental and pro-technological bacteria, primarily ascribed to Lactobacillales. Thistle rennet was observed clearly to affect the early bacterial dynamics of Caciofiore della Sibilla cheese with Lactobacillus alimentarius/paralimentarius and Lactobacillus plantarum/paraplantarum/pentosus being detected in the phyllosphere of C. acanthifolia All., thistle rennet and curd obtained with thistle rennet. Other bacterial taxa, hypothetically originating from the vegetable coagulant (Enterococcus faecium, Lactobacillus brevis, Lactobacillus delbrueckii, Leuconostoc mesenteroides/pseudomesenteroides), were exclusively found in Caciofiore della Sibilla cheese by PCR-DGGE. At the end of the maturation period, Illumina sequencing demonstrated that both cheeses were dominated by Lactobacillales; however curd and cheese produced with thistle rennet were co-dominated by Lactobacillus and Leuconostoc, whereas Lactoccous prevailed in curd and cheese produced with commercial animal rennet followed by Lactobacillus. Differences in the bacterial composition between the two cheeses at the end of their maturation period were confirmed by PCR-DGGE analysis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ijfoodmicro.2017.05.018DOI Listing
August 2017

Monitoring of wheat lactic acid bacteria from the field until the first step of dough fermentation.

Food Microbiol 2017 Apr 11;62:256-269. Epub 2016 Oct 11.

Dipartimento Scienze Agrarie e Forestali, Università di Palermo, Viale delle Scienze 4, 90128 Palermo, Italy. Electronic address:

The present work was carried out to retrieve the origin of lactic acid bacteria (LAB) in sourdough. To this purpose, wheat LAB were monitored from ear harvest until the first step of fermentation for sourdough development. The influence of the geographical area and variety on LAB species/strain composition was also determined. The ears of four Triticum durum varieties (Duilio, Iride, Saragolla and Simeto) were collected from several fields located within the Palermo province (Sicily, Italy) and microbiologically investigated. In order to trace the transfer of LAB during the consecutive steps of manipulation, ears were transformed aseptically and, after threshing, milling and fermentation, samples of kernels, semolinas and doughs, respectively, were analysed. LAB were not found to dominate the microbial communities of the raw materials. In general, kernels harboured lower levels of microorganisms than ears and ears than semolinas. Several samples showing no development of LAB colonies acidified the enrichment broth suggesting the presence of LAB below the detection limit. After fermentation, LAB loads increased consistently for all doughs, reaching levels of 7.0-7.5 Log CFU/g on M17. The values of pH (5.0) and TTA (5.6 mL NaOH/10 g of dough) indicated the occurrence of the acidification process for several doughs. LAB were phenotypically and genotypically differentiated by randomly amplified polymorphic DNA (RAPD)-PCR into eight groups including 51 strains belonging to the species Lactobacillus brevis, Lactobacillus coryniformis, Lactobacillus plantarum, Lactococcus lactis, Lactococcus garvieae, Enterococcus casseliflavus, Enterococcus faecium, Leuconostoc citreum, and Pediococcus pentosaceus. Lactobacilli constituted a minority the LAB community, while lactococci represented more than 50% of strains. Lower LAB complexity was found on kernels, while a richer biodiversity was observed in semolinas and fermented doughs. For broader microbiota characterisation in doughs before fermentation, the 16S rRNA gene fragment profiling was conducted on the unfermented doughs using MiSeq Illumina. LAB group was represented by Enterococcus, Lactococcus and members of Leuconostocaceae family whose relative abundances differed according to both geographical area and variety of wheat. The culture-independent approach confirmed that pediococci and lactobacilli constituted low abundance members of the semolina LAB microbiota and that although some strains may pass from wheat ear to fermented doughs, most are likely to come from other sources.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.fm.2016.10.014DOI Listing
April 2017

Exploring the microbiota of the red-brown defect in smear-ripened cheese by 454-pyrosequencing and its prevention using different cleaning systems.

Food Microbiol 2017 Apr 10;62:160-168. Epub 2016 Oct 10.

Research and Innovation Centre, Edmund Mach Foundation, Via E. Mach 1, 38121, San Michele all'Adige, Trento, Italy. Electronic address:

Red-brown pigmentation can occasionally form in smeared-ripened cheese such as Fontina during the ripening process. This reaction is due to over-development of the typical microbiota present on the rind. Previous studies have demonstrated the relationship between red-brown pigmentation and the traditional utilization of wooden shelves during cheese ripening. The first part of the paper focuses on the characterisation of yeast and bacterial microbiota: plate counts and 454-pyrosequencing were performed in spoiled (n = 6) and non-spoiled cheeses (n = 6) and on the wooden shelves used during ripening. The second part shows different systems tested for cleaning the wooden shelves and avoiding the development of the red-brown defect in cheese: washing with hot water and ozone treatment. Actinobacteria, dominated on the wooden shelves, suggesting to be responsible for the red-brown pigmentation; they were also found in traces in the defected cheese samples. Galactomyces and Debaryomyces were the main species characterizing the yeast population, with Debaryomyces being the most dominant species on the shelves used during ripening of the red-brown defective cheese. Hot water treatment reduced the microbial contamination of shelves, whereas only the ozone treatment ensured complete elimination of both yeast and bacteria, resulting in the cheese rind not having the red-brown defect.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.fm.2016.10.018DOI Listing
April 2017

Dynamic changes in microbiota and mycobiota during spontaneous 'Vino Santo Trentino' fermentation.

Microb Biotechnol 2016 Mar 18;9(2):195-208. Epub 2016 Jan 18.

Department of Computational Biology, Research and Innovation Centre, Fondazione Edmund Mach (FEM), San Michele all'Adige, Italy.

Vino Santo is a sweet wine produced from late harvesting and pressing of Nosiola grapes in a small, well-defined geographical area in the Italian Alps. We used metagenomics to characterize the dynamics of microbial communities in the products of three wineries, resulting from spontaneous fermentation with almost the same timing and procedure. Comparing fermentation dynamics and grape microbial composition, we show a rapid increase in a small number of wine yeast species, with a parallel decrease in complexity. Despite the application of similar protocols, slight changes in the procedures led to significant differences in the microbiota in the three cases of fermentation: (i) fungal content of the must varied significantly in the different wineries, (ii) Pichia membranifaciens persisted in only one of the wineries, (iii) one fermentation was characterized by the balanced presence of Saccharomyces cerevisiae and Hanseniaspora osmophila during the later phases. We suggest the existence of a highly winery-specific 'microbial-terroir' contributing significantly to the final product rather than a regional 'terroir'. Analysis of changes in abundance during fermentation showed evident correlations between different species, suggesting that fermentation is the result of a continuum of interaction between different species and physical-chemical parameters.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/1751-7915.12337DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4767281PMC
March 2016

Microbial evolution of traditional mountain cheese and characterization of early fermentation cocci for selection of autochtonous dairy starter strains.

Food Microbiol 2016 Feb 10;53(Pt B):94-103. Epub 2015 Sep 10.

Research and Innovation Centre, Fondazione Edmund Mach (FEM), Via E. Mach 1, 38010 San Michele all'Adige, Italy. Electronic address:

The microbial population of Traditional Mountain (TM) cheese was investigated and characterized for the selection of cocci suitable for developing new starter cultures. Samples of milk, curd and cheese at different ripening times were enumerated in selective culture media and 640 colonies were isolated from curd and cheese after 24 h of ripening. The Lactic Acid Bacteria (LAB) isolated from M17 were clustered into 231 biotypes by RAPD-PCR analysis and identified as Lactococcus lactis, Streptococcus thermophilus and Enterococcus faecalis. Forty percent of enterococci showed the in vitro ability to inhibit raw milk resident coliforms, but they were excluded as possible starters due to the presence of associated risk factors. All lactococci and streptococci were tested for their technological properties; 4 Lc. lactis subsp. lactis and 2 Sc. thermophilus which were fast acidifiers and did not produce unpleasant flavours were subjected to the freeze-drying stability test. Lc. lactis subsp. lactis biotype 68 and Sc. thermophilus biotype 93 showed the best technological properties and may be appropriate for cheese production. This work gave evidence of the high biodiversity of TM-cheese autochthonous biotypes which could be used as starter cultures for the improvement of TM-cheese technology.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.fm.2015.09.001DOI Listing
February 2016

Biodiversity and γ-aminobutyric acid production by lactic acid bacteria isolated from traditional alpine raw cow's milk cheeses.

Biomed Res Int 2015 23;2015:625740. Epub 2015 Feb 23.

Research and Innovation Centre, Department of Food Quality and Nutrition, Fondazione Edmund Mach (FEM), Via E. Mach 1, 38010 San Michele all'Adige, Italy.

"Nostrano-cheeses" are traditional alpine cheeses made from raw cow's milk in Trentino-Alto Adige, Italy. This study identified lactic acid bacteria (LAB) developing during maturation of "Nostrano-cheeses" and evaluated their potential to produce γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA), an immunologically active compound and neurotransmitter. Cheese samples were collected on six cheese-making days, in three dairy factories located in different areas of Trentino and at different stages of cheese ripening (24 h, 15 days, and 1, 2, 3, 6, and 8 months). A total of 1,059 LAB isolates were screened using Random Amplified Polymorphic DNA-PCR (RAPD-PCR) and differentiated into 583 clusters. LAB strains from dominant clusters (n = 97) were genetically identified to species level by partial 16S rRNA gene sequencing. LAB species most frequently isolated were Lactobacillus paracasei, Streptococcus thermophilus, and Leuconostoc mesenteroides. The 97 dominant clusters were also characterized for their ability in producing GABA by high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC). About 71% of the dominant bacteria clusters evolving during cheeses ripening were able to produce GABA. Most GABA producers were Lactobacillus paracasei but other GABA producing species included Lactococcus lactis, Lactobacillus plantarum, Lactobacillus rhamnosus, Pediococcus pentosaceus, and Streptococcus thermophilus. No Enterococcus faecalis or Sc. macedonicus isolates produced GABA. The isolate producing the highest amount of GABA (80.0±2.7 mg/kg) was a Sc. thermophilus.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2015/625740DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4352725PMC
May 2016

Identification and characterization of wild lactobacilli and pediococci from spontaneously fermented Mountain cheese.

Food Microbiol 2015 Jun 18;48:123-32. Epub 2014 Dec 18.

Research and Innovation Centre, Fondazione Edmund Mach (FEM), Via E. Mach 1, 38010 San Michele all'Adige, Italy. Electronic address:

The Traditional Mountain Malga (TMM) cheese is made from raw cow's milk by spontaneously fermentation in small farms called "Malga" located in Trentino region. This study was designed to characterize the lactic acid bacteria (LAB) growing on MRS medium, of TMM-cheese at the end of the ripening. Ninety-five LAB were isolated and genotypically characterized by Randomly Amplified Polymorphic DNA-Polymerase Chain Reaction (RAPD-PCR) with two primers, species-specific PCR and partial sequencing of 16S rRNA gene. The 95 LAB clustered in 70 biotypes. Pediococcus pentosaceus and Lactobacillus paracasei were the dominant species. Isolates were tested for their growth properties, carbohydrate metabolism, acidifying ability, proteolytic and lipolytic activities, acetoin production, amino-peptidase (AP) activity, biogenic amines production, bile salts hydrolysis, conjugated linoleic acid and γ-aminobutyric acid production. Lb. paracasei isolates resulted to be well adapted to Malga environment and to show the best AP activity and acetoin production. TMM-cheese related LAB showed also interesting health promoting properties and produced bioactive substances. In particular, one Lb. brevis biotype produced a GABA mean value of 129 mg/L that is considered a high concentration. The results confirmed that TMM-cheese resident LAB could be exploited for dairy production.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.fm.2014.12.003DOI Listing
June 2015

Extension of Tosèla cheese shelf-life using non-starter lactic acid bacteria.

Food Microbiol 2011 Aug 13;28(5):883-90. Epub 2010 Dec 13.

SENFIMIZO Department, Section of Phytopathology and Agricultural Microbiology, University of Palermo, Viale delle Scienze 4, 90128 Palermo, Italy.

Six strains of non-starter lactic acid bacteria (NSLAB) were used to extend the shelf-life of the fresh cheese Tosèla manufactured with pasteurised cows' milk. The acidification kinetics of three Lactobacillus paracasei, one Lactobacillus rhamnosus and two Streptococcus macedonicus were studied in synthetic milk medium. Lb. paracasei NdP78 and NdP88 and S. macedonicus NdP1 and PB14-1 showed an interesting acidifying capacity and were further characterised for growth in UHT milk and production of antimicrobial compounds. Lb. paracasei NdP78 and S. macedonicus NdP1 grew more than 2 log cycles in 6 h. Lb. paracasei NdP78 was also found to produce a bacteriocin-like inhibitory substance (BLIS) active against Listeria monocytogenes. The four NSLAB strains (singly or in combination) were used to produce experimental pilot-scale cheeses which were compared by a panel. The cheese manufactured with the mixed culture Lb. paracasei NdP78 - S. macedonicus NdP1 was the most appreciated for its sensory properties. The cheeses produced at factory-scale showed higher concentrations of lactobacilli (7.90 log CFU/g) and streptococci (6.10 log CFU/g), but a lower development of coliforms (3.10 log CFU/g) and staphylococci (2.78 log CFU/g) than control cheese (4.86, 4.89, 4.93 and 5.00 log CFU/g of lactobacilli, streptococci, coliforms and staphylococci, respectively) processed without NSLAB addition. The food pathogens Salmonella spp. and Listeria monocytogenes were never detected. The dominance of the species inoculated was demonstrated by denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE), whereas strain recognition was evaluated by randomly amplified polymorphic DNA (RAPD)-PCR. From the results obtained, Lb. paracasei NdP78 and S. macedonicus NdP1 were able to persist during the storage of Tosèla cheese and their combination influenced positively the sensory characteristics and shelf-life of the final product.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.fm.2010.12.003DOI Listing
August 2011

Changes in psychrotrophic microbial populations during milk creaming to produce Grana Trentino cheese.

Food Microbiol 2011 Feb 14;28(1):43-51. Epub 2010 Aug 14.

IASMA Research and Innovation Centre, Fondazione Edmund Mach, Food Quality and Nutrition Area, Innovative Food Technologies, San Michele all'Adige (TN), Italy.

The aim of this study was to study the psychrotrophic microbiota developing during milk creaming of Grana Trentino cheese-making. 138 isolates from raw whole milk, cream and skim milk samples were screened by Randomly amplified polymorphic DNA PCR biotyping and representative strains of each biotype were characterised by partial 16S rRNA gene sequencing and enzymatic activity. Pseudomonadaceae were commonly isolated in cream samples while Streptococcaceae and Enterobacteriaceae in milk samples. Moraxellaceae and Flavobacteriaceae were found in both cream and milk samples. More than 80% of psychrotrophic isolates could grow at 37°C. All Flavobacteriaceae and half of Pseudomonadaceae biotypes displayed proteolytic activity on milk agar even at low temperatures such as 10°C. All Streptococcaceae and some of Enterobacteriaceae displayed acidifying activity and almost all Acinetobacter spp. (Moraxellaceae) displayed lipolytic activity towards tributyrin. Even if psychrotrophic bacteria is not the dominant microbial group in raw milk, their total number increases during creaming and becomes one of the most present group together with Lactic Acid Bacteria. Their enzymatic activities may be key players in determining milk quality for cheese making.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.fm.2010.08.003DOI Listing
February 2011
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