Background. The Polish cheese market is dominated by products made from pasteurized milk with commercial culture comprising microorganisms with genetically confirmed species affiliation. Current nutritional trends are focused on enriching the diet with natural products containing microorganisms characteristic of a given environment. Therefore, there is a need to look for ways to improve the quality of raw milk cheeses, which are characterized by a unique taste and aroma, as well as a large variety of lactic acid bacteria from a region. The aim of the study was to determine the quality of unripened rennet cheeses made from unpasteurized milk with two starter cultures: commercial and environmental. A microbiological analysis was carried out in order to: determine the total number of microorganisms, the number of mesophilic lactic acid bacteria, Escherichia coli and the presence of pathogens: Listeria monocytogenes and Salmonella spp. and staphylococcal enterotoxin.
Results and conclusion. The microbiological quality of raw milk met the requirements for the total number of microorganisms laid down in the Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council No. 853/2004, the Commission Regulation No. 2073/2005 (as amended). In cheeses produced using the environmental culture, the number of mesophilic LAB was significantly higher than in the other type of cheese. No pathogens or staphylococcal enterotoxin were detected in any of the products. During a sensory analysis of cheeses after production, it was found that they were very similar to each other in terms of overall acceptability. After 14 days of cheese storage, differences in sensory quality were found in favor of the products made using the environmental starter culture. All tested cheese samples met the requirements for microbiological safety.
rennet cheese, starter cultures, lactic acid bacteria (LAB), unpasteurized milk