Published online by Cambridge University Press: 07 February 2019
The aim of this work was to evaluate the impact of two factors on the ripening profiles of hard cooked cheeses: (F1) the growth medium for the primary and adjunct cultures, constituted by autochthonous strains: Lactobacillus helveticus 209 (Lh209) and Lactobacillus paracasei 90 (Lp90), respectively, and (F2) the addition of L. paracasei Lp90 as adjunct culture. Four types of cheeses were made: W and M cheeses in which only Lh209 was added after its growth in whey and MRS, respectively; Wa and Ma cheeses in which both strains (Lh209 and Lp90) were added after their growth in whey and MRS, respectively. Physicochemical and microbial composition, proteolysis and profiles of organic acids and volatile compounds were analyzed. According to the methodology of the cultures preparation, W and Wa cheeses showed a higher level of secondary proteolysis and lower level of primary proteolysis (P < 0·05), lower content of citric and acetic acids and higher amount of propionic acid (P < 0·05), in comparison with M and Ma cheeses. The incorporation of Lp90 increased the secondary proteolysis (P < 0·05), decreased the citric acid (P < 0·05), and increased the propionic acid only when was added after their growth in whey (P < 0·05). Both factors significantly modified the percentages of the volatile compounds grouped in chemical families; in addition, for the half of the compounds detected, significant differences were found. Based on the obtained results, the use of Lp90 as an adjunct in hard cooked cheeses, and the preincubation of the cultures in whey are strategies to accelerate the cheese ripening and to enhance the production of some characteristic compounds of this type of cheeses, such as propan-2-one, hexan-2-one, 2- and 3-methyl butanal, heptan-2-ol, acetic and 3-methylbutanoic acids and 3-hydroxy butan-2-one.