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J Dairy Sci. 2004 Nov;87(11):3976-88.

Deacidification by Debaryomyces hansenii of smear soft cheeses ripened under controlled conditions: relative humidity and temperature influences.

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Unité Mixte de Recherche Génie et Microbiologie des Procédés Alimentaires, F-78 850 Thiverval-Grignon, France.


Model smear soft cheeses were prepared from pasteurized milk inoculated with Debaryomyces hansenii (304, GMPA) and Brevibacterium aurantiacum (ATCC 9175) under aseptic conditions. Debaryomyces hansenii growth and curd deacidification were studied in relation to ripening chamber temperature and relative humidity (RH). A total of 9 descriptors, mainly based on kinetic data, were defined to represent D. hansenii growth (2 descriptors), cheese deacidification (5 descriptors), and cheese ripening (2 descriptors). Regardless of the temperature, when the RH was 85%, D. hansenii growth was inhibited due to limitation of carbon substrate diffusions; consequently, cheese deacidification did not take place. Debaryomyces hansenii growth was most prolific when the temperature was 16 degrees C, and the RH was 95%. Kinetic descriptors of lactate consumption and pH increase were maximal at 16 degrees C and 100% RH. Under these 2 ripening conditions, on d 14 (packaging) the creamy underrind represented a third of the cheese; however, at the end of ripening (d 42), cheese was too liquid to be sold. Statistical analysis showed that the best ripening conditions to achieve an optimum between deacidification and appearance of cheeses (thickness of the creamy underrind) were 12 degrees C and 95 +/- 1% RH.

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