Acidifying and aromatic properties of enterococcus strains in ovine and bovine milks

L. L. Pimentel*, J. C. Soares, M. M. E. Pintado, A. I. E. Pintado, A. M. P. Gomes, A. C. Ferreira, F. X. Malcata

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review



Enterococci are lactic acid bacteria present in a wide variety of dairy and other food products. Although their presence in the former has been considered an indicator of poor hygienic conditions, nowadays a number of biotechnological and probiotic useful characteristics are already known. A few compounds resulting from the bacterium metabolism contribute to the aroma of cheese. Knowledge of those components, as well as of the acidifying capacity is very important to the dairy industry, including application toward selection of strains as better starters. The aim of this research effort was to study the role of some enterococci in ovine and bovine milks, in terms of acidifying properties and aroma potential. A total of seven strains, previously isolated from traditional Portuguese cheeses, were assayed for: Enterococcus faecium 28A, E. durans 13 and E. faecalis 6 (from Serra da Estrela cheese); and E. faecium 42, E. durans 15, E. faecalis 3 and E. casseliflavus 40 (from Terrincho cheese). Sterilized ovine and bovine milks were inoculated with 2% (v/v) inoculum and incubated at 37 °C. Microbiological viable counts on M17 agar, pH and titrable acidity were determined in duplicate at 0, 1, 4 and 7 d of incubation. Free fatty acids, recognized as strong odorants in Serra da Estrela and other traditional Portuguese cheeses, were quantified in each sample using SPME – GC/MS. All strains showed similar growth patterns, either in bovine or ovine milks, and reached levels of 108 –109 cfu/ml by 1 d of incubation (except E. durans 13, which exhibited a better growth in bovine than ovine milk). An important decrease in pH was observed in both types of milk by 1 d, for all strains. The highest reduction was observed for E. casseliflavus 40 and E. durans 15 in bovine milk, and for E. faecium 42 and E. durans 13 in ovine milk. Enterococcus faecalis 6 revealed the poorest acidification power.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationIDF Symposium on Cheese
Subtitle of host publicationRipening, Characterization & Technology
Number of pages2
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2004
EventIDF Symposium on Cheese: Ripening, characterization & technology - Prague, Czech Republic
Duration: 21 Mar 200425 Mar 2004


ConferenceIDF Symposium on Cheese
Country/TerritoryCzech Republic


  • Enterococci
  • Cheese
  • Volatile compounds
  • Acidification


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