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Identification of Lactic Acid Bacteria Isolated from Traditional Iranian Lighvan Cheese

Keywords: LAB , NSLAB , Lactobacillus , Enterococcus , Pediococcus

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Many traditional products such as cheese obtain their flavor intensity from non-starter lactic acid bacteria (NSLAB), which are not part of the normal starter flora but develop in the product, particularly during ripening, therefore it was decided to identify this group of bacteria from Iranian Lighvan cheese, made from raw ewe`s milk for the establishing of new functional foods and/or increasing products to cover the demands of the Iranian market. Ten grams of cheese samples (in triplicates) were homogenized in a stomacher and using microbiological analysis for identification of the isolated bacteria. NSLAB formed a large part of the lactic flora at 4 months of ripening. Forty-two typical colonies of lactic acid bacteria (LAB) were selected out of 215 isolates from samples of Lighvan cheese. Isolates were phenotypically characterized by their ability to ferment different carbohydrates. Accordingly they were classified into 3 predominant genera: Lactobacillus, Enterococcus and Pediococcus (46, 42 and 12%, respectively). All isolates of Enterococcus were identified as E. faecium. In case of Lactobacillus isolates, many similarities to species L. plantarum and L. casei were spotted. The carbohydrates fermentation patterns for Pediococcus isolates were unusual and identification at the species level needs further investigation.


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