Isolation and characterization of Lactobacillus microflora from homemade white sheep’s milk cheeses during ripening

S. Stojanovski1*, G. Cilev2, B. Trajanoska3

1Department of Microbiology, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University “St. Kliment Ohridski”, 7000 Bitola, North Macedonia
2Department of Food Quality and Safety, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University “St. Kliment Ohridski”, 7000 Bitola, North Macedonia
3Veterinary clinic “Makseraja”, 7500 Prilep, North Macedonia

(Manuscript received 24 September 2020; accepted for publication 1 February 2021)

Abstract. The Lactobacillus microflora of white cheese made from sheep’s milk was studied during the maturation period of 10 to 100 days in the basement at a temperature of 10-12°C. Eight samples from different stages of natural white cheese ripening were taken for testing. A total of 28 strains were isolated and identified as Lactobacillus spp. based on their growth, gram-stain activity, catalase and oxidase. Their affiliation to this genus was confirmed by PCR with genus specific primers, 16S ribosomal RNA. The results show that in the early stages of cheese ripening (5th-6th, 10-39 day) the most commonly found species are: Lactobacillus plantarum and Lactobacillus curvatus, while in later stages of the cheese ripening (7th-10th, 40-80 day), the following species are found: Lactobacillus plantarum and Lactobacillus paracasei subsp. Paracasei.