Diversity and succession of contaminating yeasts in white-brined cheese during cold storage

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Contamination of white-brined cheeses (WBCs) with yeasts is of major concern in the dairy industry. This study aimed to identify yeast contaminants and characterize their succession in white-brined cheese during a shelf-life of 52 weeks. White-brined cheeses added herbs (WBC1) or sundried tomatoes (WBC2) were produced at a Danish dairy and incubated at 5 °C and 10 °C. An increase in yeast counts was observed for both products within the first 12–14 weeks of incubation and stabilized afterwards varying in a range of 4.19–7.08 log CFU/g. Interestingly, higher incubation temperature, especially in WBC2, led to lower yeast counts, concurrently with higher diversity of yeast species. Observed decrease in yeast counts was, most likely, due to negative interactions between yeast species leading to growth inhibition. In total, 469 yeast isolates from WBC1 and WBC2 were genotypically classified using the (GTG)5-rep-PCR technique. Out of them, 132 representative isolates were further identified by sequencing the D1/D2 domain of the 26 S rRNA gene. Predominant yeast species in WBCs were Candida zeylanoides and Debaryomyces hansenii, while Candida parapsilosis, Kazachstania bulderi, Kluyveromyces lactis, Pichia fermentans, Pichia kudriavzevii, Rhodotorula mucilaginosa, Torulaspora delbrueckii, and Wickerhamomyces anomalus were found in lower frequency. Heterogeneity of yeast species in WBC2 was generally larger compared to WBC1. This study indicated that, along with contamination levels, taxonomic heterogeneity of yeasts is an important factor influencing yeast cell counts, as well as product quality during storage.

Original languageEnglish
Article number104266
JournalFood Microbiology
Number of pages10
Publication statusPublished - 2023

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© 2023 The Authors

    Research areas

  • Cold storage, Contamination, Spoilage yeasts, White-brined cheese, Yeast succession

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