, Volume 76, Issue 5, pp 1161-1171

Production of volatile aroma compounds by bacterial strains isolated from different surface-ripened French cheeses

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Twelve bacterial strains belonging to eight taxonomic groups: Brevibacterium linens, Microbacterium foliorum, Arthrobacter arilaitensis, Staphylococcus cohnii, Staphylococcus equorum, Brachybacterium sp., Proteus vulgaris and Psychrobacter sp., isolated from different surface-ripened French cheeses, were investigated for their abilities to generate volatile aroma compounds. Out of 104 volatile compounds, 54 volatile compounds (identified using dynamic headspace technique coupled with gas chromatography-mass spectrometry [GC-MS]) appeared to be produced by the different bacteria on a casamino acid medium. Four out of eight species used in this study: B. linens, M. foliorum, P. vulgaris and Psychrobacter sp. showed a high flavouring potential. Among these four bacterial species, P. vulgaris had the greatest capacity to produce not only the widest varieties but also the highest quantities of volatile compounds having low olfactive thresholds such as sulphur compounds. Branched aldehydes, alcohols and esters were produced in large amounts by P. vulgaris and Psychrobacter sp. showing their capacity to breakdown the branched amino acids. This investigation shows that some common but rarely mentioned bacteria present on the surface of ripened cheeses could play a major role in cheese flavour formation and could be used to produce cheese flavours.