Journal of Dairy Research

Original Articles

Autolysis and proteolysis in different strains of starter bacteria during Cheddar cheese ripening

Martin G. Wilkinsona1, Timothy P. Guineea1, Daniel M. O'Callaghana1 and Patrick F. Foxa2

a1 National Dairy Products Research Centre, Moorepark, Fermoy, Co. Cork, Irish Republic

a2 Department of Food Chemistry, University College, Cork, Irish Republic


Autolysis of and proteolysis by various Lactococcus lactis subsp. cremoris strains were monitored in cheese ‘juice’ extracted by hydraulic pressure up to 63 d ripening. Viability was lowest for strain AM2 (non-bitter), intermediate for strain HP (bitter) and highest for the defined mixed strains G11/C25 (non-bitter). Autolysis monitored by the levels of the intracellular marker enzymes lactate dehydrogenase (EC, glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (EC and post-proline dipeptidyl aminopeptidase proceeded in the order AM2 > G11/C25 > HP. Differences in autolysis between strains did not appear to be due to differences in stabilities of the marker enzymes, populations of non-starter lactic acid bacteria or levels of the marker enzymes in the strains. Proteolysis, as measured by gel permeation FPLC and free amino acid analysis of the cheese juice was highest for AM2, intermediate for G11/C25 and lowest for HP. The results of this study provided some evidence that different Lactococcus strains used for cheesemaking had different autolytic patterns during ripening, the effects of which on ripening and flavour development have not yet been clearly demonstrated.

(Received January 04 1993)

(Accepted July 07 1993)