Comparison of mycoflora associated to Canestrato Pugliese cheese produced according three protocols
The associated mycoflora of the Canestrato Pugliese cheese produced from raw milk, pasteurized milk or by heating the curd in hot whey were compared. In order to evaluate the ability to colonize Canestrato Pugliese cheese, the effects of pH, salt content, temperature and nutritional source on growth of some strains were investigated. The cheese produced according to a traditional protocol harboured a more heterogeneous mycoflora than to modern protocols. However, the species most frequently isolated from our samples (Fusarium moniliforme, Aspergillus niger and Aspergillus flavus) were infrequently associated with cheese and indicated a strong contamination of the ripening rooms used for cheese ripening only for a short while. Moreover, since during mould growth a risk of mycotoxin production in the cheese exists, the isolation of mycotoxigenic moulds could represent a health concern. The results obtained emphasize the need to control relative humidity and hygienic conditions of the ripening houses and provide an improved understanding of fungi of Canestrato Pugliese cheese.
M. SINIGAGLIA, M. ALBENZIO, M. R. CORBO, C. CICCARONE
Canestrato Pugliese cheese, pasteurisation, fungi, physiological characterization.