Growth and gas formation by Lactobacillus wasatchensis, a novel obligatory heterofermentative nonstarter lactic acid bacterium, in Cheddar-style cheese made using a Streptococcus thermophilus starter.J Dairy Sci. 2015 Nov; 98(11):7473-82.JD
A novel slow-growing, obligatory heterofermentative, nonstarter lactic acid bacterium (NSLAB), Lactobacillus wasatchensis WDC04, was studied for growth and gas production in Cheddar-style cheese made using Streptococcus thermophilus as the starter culture. Cheesemaking trials were conducted using S. thermophilus alone or in combination with Lb. wasatchensis deliberately added to cheese milk at a level of ~10(4) cfu/mL. Resulting cheeses were ripened at 6 or 12°C. At d 1, starter streptococcal numbers were similar in both cheeses (~10(9) cfu/g) and fast-growing NSLAB lactobacilli counts were below detectable levels (<10(2) cfu/g). As expected, Lactobacillus wasatchensis counts were 3×10(5) cfu/g in cheeses inoculated with this bacterium and below enumeration limits in the control cheese. Starter streptococci decreased over time at both storage temperatures but declined more rapidly at 12°C, especially in cheese also containing Lb. wasatchensis. Populations of fast-growing NSLAB and the slow-growing Lb. wasatchensis reached 5×10(7) and 2×10(8) cfu/g, respectively, after 16 wk of storage at 12°C. Growth of NSLAB coincided with a reduction in galactose concentration in the cheese from 0.6 to 0.1%. Levels of galactose at 6°C had similar decrease. Gas formation and textural defects were only observed in cheese with added Lb. wasatchensis ripened at 12°C. Use of S. thermophilus as starter culture resulted in galactose accumulation that Lb. wasatchensis can use to produce CO2, which contributes to late gas blowing in Cheddar-style cheeses, especially when the cheese is ripened at elevated temperature.