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Formation and Characterization of Early Bacterial Biofilms on Different Wood Typologies Applied in Dairy Production

  • Autori: Cruciata Margherita, Gaglio Raimondo, Scatassa Maria Luisa, Sala Giovanna, Cardamone Cinzia, Palmeri Marisa, Moschetti Giancarlo, La Mantia Tommaso, Settanni Luca
  • Anno di pubblicazione: 2018
  • Tipologia: Articolo in rivista (Articolo in rivista)
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The main hypothesis of this work was that Sicilian forestry resources are suitable for the production of equipment to be used in cheese making and indigenous milk lactic acid bacteria (LAB) are able to develop stable biofilms providing starter and nonstarter cultures necessary for curd fermentation and cheese ripening, respectively. Hence, the present work was carried out with deproteinized whey to evaluate LAB biofilm formation on different woods derived from tree species grown in Sicily. Microbiological and scanning electron microscopy analyses showed minimal differences in microbial levels and compositions for the neoformed biofilms. The specific investigation of Salmonella spp., Listeria monocytogenes, Escherichia coli, coagulase-positive staphylococci (CPS), and sulfite-reducing anaerobes did not generate any colony for all vats before and after bacterial adhesion. LAB populations dominated all vat surfaces. The highest levels (7.63 log CFU/cm2) were registered for thermophilic cocci. Different colonies were characterized physiologically, biochemically, and genetically (at strain and species levels). Six species within the genera Enterococcus, Lactobacillus, Lactococcus, and Streptococcus were identified. The species most frequently present were Lactobacillus fermentum and Lactococcus lactis. LAB found on the surfaces of the wooden vats in this study showed interesting characteristics important for dairy manufacture. To thoroughly investigate the safety of the wooden vat, a test of artificial contamination on new Calabrian chestnut (control wood) vats was carried out. The results showed that LAB represent efficient barriers to the adhesion of the main dairy pathogens, probably due to their acidity and bacteriocin generation. IMPORTANCE This study highlights the importance of using wooden vats for traditional cheese production and provides evidence for the valorization the Sicilian forest wood resources via the production of dairy equipment.