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Is the presence of biogenic amines a cause of slits and cracks in cheese?

I. Panguripan



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Is the presence of biogenic amines a cause of slits and cracks in cheese?
I. Panguripan*1, R. A. Ibanez2, K. Houck2, S. Govindasamy-Lucey2, M. E. Johnson2, J. A. Lucey1,2. 1University of Wisconsin-Madison, Department of Food Science Madison, WI, 2University of Wisconsin-Madison, Center for Dairy Research Madison, WI.

Undesired late gas formation (LGF) in cheese is associated with the presence of slits and cracks. This defect leads to economic losses due to rejection from consumers. A possible source of LGF is attributed to heterofermentative non-starter lactic acid bacteria (NSLAB) that may release CO2 into the cheese environment. Certain NSLAB have the ability to metabolize amino acids and form biogenic amines (BA) and CO2. BA are considered undesired compounds in fermented dairy products since they are potentially toxic at high concentrations. In a previous work, our group isolated BA producing bacteria from cheeses with slits and cracks, hence we hypothesized that one of the causes of LGF in cheese is associated with the presence of BA. Therefore, the objectives of this study were to determine the concentration of BA in commercial cheeses with LGF and estimate the concentration of CO2 based on the levels of BA. Thirteen commercial samples with slits and cracks (Cheddar, 6; Provolone, 1; Parmesan, 1; Romano, 1; Farmers, 1; and block Gouda, 2) were used in this study. Type and concentration of BA in cheese samples were determined by reversed-phase high performance liquid chromatography using a dansyl-chloride derivatization method. The total concentration of BA was used to calculate theoretical concentration of CO2 in cheeses. Cheese extracts were prepared and inoculated in Durham tubes with broth containing only amino acids as restrictive media to visually observe CO2 production ability. Tryptamine, phenylethylamine, putrescine, cadaverine, histamine, tyramine and spermidine were detected at varying levels in all cheeses. Levels of total BA and theoretical levels of CO2 in cheeses ranged between 4 - 2500 mg/kg and 0.02 - 25 mmol/kg respectively. Principal component analysis grouped cheeses based on levels and type of BA, which were also correlated with pH values, suggesting that BA may be responsible for the occurrence of slits and cracks in some cheese samples. Further studies will be necessary to isolate and identify the bacteria involved in BA synthesis and elucidate other sources causing LGF.

Keywords: biogenic amines, late gas formation in cheese, cheese defects.

Biography: Irwin Panguripan is a first year master's student in the University of Wisconsin-Madison Department of Food Science. Irwin's research focuses on the causes of the development of slits and cracks in cheese.