Research project Serpaflora: valorization of native microbiota of the Serpa cheese

Maria Teresa P.G. dos Santos, Paulo Serol, Maria M. Pintado, Helena Araújo-Rodrigues, Pedro Louro, Nuno Alvarenga

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstract


Serpa is a Protected Designation of Origin cheese, as provided for in
Regulation (EEC) 2081/92 of the European Commission, as such, it must
be manufactured in the defined geographic area. Serpa traditional
manufacturing process maintained through the ages in region, requires
the use of raw ewe`s milk and vegetable coagulant based on dried
flowers of Cynara cardunculus L., without any commercial starter, which
emphasizes the role of the selected autochthonous microbiota. Its
proliferation and qualitative composition will play a key role in creating
the specific sensorial profile, general quality and safety. This microflora
comes mainly from raw milk, but also from the whole surrounding
environment. Under these conditions, the autochthonous microbiota
may reflect its authenticity. The dependence of raw milk determines a
great heterogeneity of the final characteristics, difficult to control by the
cheesemaker in case of milk of inferior microbiological quality. In
addition, from the point of view of food safety, the consumption of raw
milk cheeses products causes some suspicions making the acceptance
by some markets difficult.
The aim of this project is to develop a clear understanding on the
microbiome of the Serpa cheese and relate this factor with cheese
quality. The specific objectives of this proposal are summarized as
(i) To characterize the Serpa cheese microbiome using culturedependent techniques and high-throughput DNA sequencing (HTS);
(ii) To correlate the cheese microbial profile with the chemical,
biochemical, rheological and sensorial attributes, in order to establish
dominant autochthonous strains in high quality cheeses;
(iii) To select appropriate strains based on food safety, probiotic nature,
technological aptitude, and behaviour in laboratory cheese models;
(iv) To develop starter cultures, single or multiple strains, and evaluate
their effectiveness at the laboratory and pilot scales;
(v) To establish novel technologies for the preservation and commercial
presentation of innovative starter cultures.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages2
Publication statusPublished - 28 Nov 2019
Event1º Simpósio INIAV para a Segurança Alimentar Rumo à Alimentação do Futuro - Vila do Conde, Portugal
Duration: 28 Nov 201928 Nov 2019


Conference1º Simpósio INIAV para a Segurança Alimentar Rumo à Alimentação do Futuro
CityVila do Conde


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