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Appl Environ Microbiol. 1995 Aug;61(8):2919-24.

Identification of Clostridium tyrobutyricum as the causative agent of late blowing in cheese by species-specific PCR amplification.

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Netherlands Institute for Dairy Research (NIZO), Ede.


Butyric acid fermentation, the late-blowing defect in cheese, caused by the outgrowth of clostridial spores present in raw milk, can create considerable loss of product, especially in the production of semihard cheeses like Gouda cheese, but also in grana and Gruyère cheeses. To demonstrate the causative relationship between Clostridium tyrobutyricum and late blowing in cheese, many cheesemaking experiments were performed to provoke this defect by using spores from several strains of the major dairy-related clostridia. A method of PCR amplification of a part of the 16S rRNA gene in combination with hybridization with species-specific DNA probes was developed to allow the specific detection of clostridial sequences in DNAs extracted from cheeses. The sensitivity was increased by using nested PCR. Late blowing was provoked in experimental cheeses with 28 of the 32 C. tyrobutyricum strains tested, whereas experimental cheeses made with spores from C. beijerinckii, C. butyricum, and C. sporogenes showed no signs of butyric acid fermentation. In all experimental and commercial cheeses with obvious signs of late blowing, DNA from C. tyrobutyricum was detected; in some cheeses, signals for C. beijerinckii were also found. It was concluded that only C. tyrobutyricum strains are able to cause butyric acid fermentation in cheese.

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