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Lactococci of Local Origin as Potential Starter Cultures 
for Traditional Montenegrin Cheese Production


Mirjana Bojanic Rasovic1, Sigrid Mayrhofer2*, Aleksandra Martinovic3Katharina Dürr2 and Konrad J. Domig2
 

1University of Montenegro, Biotechnical Faculty, Mihaila Lalića 1, ME-20000 Podgorica, Montenegro
2BOKU – University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Department of Food Science and Technology, Muthgasse 18, AT-1190 Vienna, Austria
3University of Donja Gorica, Faculty of Food Technology, Food Safety and Ecology, Donja Gorica, ME-81000 Podgorica, Montenegro




Article history:
Received  June 28, 2016
Accepted  November 8, 2016
 


Key words:
Lactococcus lactis ssp. lactis, traditional Montenegrin cheese, starter cultures, technological properties, safety assessment



Summary:
The aim of this study is to characterise and examine the biochemical properties of 40 Lactococcus lactis strains isolated from indigenous Montenegrin dairy products in order to explore their potential to be used as starter cultures for producing typical Montenegrin cheese, such as ‘bijeli sir’, ‘masni sir’ and ‘njeguški sir’. Their safety regarding the production of biogenic amines, the presence of antimicrobial resistance and the antibacterial activity against relevant pathogens and spoilage microorganisms has also been tested. Based on the characterisation, all strains belong to L. lactis ssp. lactis. Out of these 40 strains, 23 displayed rapid acidification ability and proteolysis. However, none of the strains exhibited the ability of lipid degradation. Most of the strains were not associated with any health risk investigated. Summing up, a large percentage (27.5 %) of the tested strains showed good properties. These strains should be further examined for their possible application as specific starter cultures in the production of indigenous cheese in Montenegro.



 


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