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Milk microbiota: characterization methods and role in cheese production

Tilocca, B., Costanzo, N., Morittu, V. M., Spina, A. A., Soggiu, A., Britti, D., Roncada, P. and Piras, C. (2020) Milk microbiota: characterization methods and role in cheese production. Journal of Proteomics, 210. 103534. ISSN 1874-3919

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1016/j.jprot.2019.103534


Milk is a complex body fluid aimed at addressing the nutritional and defensive needs of the mammal's newborns. Harbored microbiota plays a pivotal role throughout the cheesemaking process and contributes to the development of flavor and texture typical of different type of cheeses. Understanding the dairy microbiota dynamics is of paramount importance for controlling the qualitative, sensorial and biosafety features of the dairy products. Although many studies investigated the contribution of single or few microorganisms, still there is some information lacking about microbial communities. The widespread of the omics platforms and bioinformatic tools enable the investigation of the cheese-associated microbial community in both phylogenetical and functional terms, highlighting the effects of the diverse cheesemaking variables. In this review, the most relevant literature is revised to provide an introduction of the milk- and cheese-associated microbiota, along with their structural and functional dynamics in relation to the diverse cheesemaking technologies and influencing variables. Also, we focus our attention on the latest omics technologies adopted in dairy microbiota investigation. Discussion on the key-steps and major drawbacks of each omics discipline is provided along with a collection of results from the latest research studies performed to unravel the fascinating world of the dairy-associated microbiota. Significance Understanding the milk- and cheese- associated microbial community is nowadays considered a key factor in the dairy industry, since it allows a comprehensive knowledge on how all phases of the cheesemaking process impact the harbored microflora; thus, predict the consequences in the finished products in terms of texture, organoleptic characteristics, palatability and biosafety. This review, collect the pioneering and milestones works so far performed in the field of dairy microbiota, and provide the basic guidance to whom approaching the cheese microbiota investigation by means of the latest omics technologies. Also, the review emphasizes the benefits and drawbacks of the omics disciplines, and underline how the integration of diverse omics sciences enhance a comprehensive depiction of the cheese microbiota. In turn, a better consciousness of the dairy microbiota might results in the application of improved starter cultures, cheesemaking practices and technologies; supporting a bio-safe and standardized production of cheese, with a strong economic benefit for both large-scale industries and local traditional dairy farms.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Life Sciences > School of Chemistry, Food and Pharmacy > Department of Chemistry
ID Code:86918

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