Development of Yeast Populations during Processing and Ripening of Blue Veined Cheese

Bennie C. Viljoen*, Alison M. Knox, Paul H. De Jager and Analie Lourens-Hattingh

Department of Microbial, Biochemical and Food Biotechnology, P.O. Box 339, University of the Free State, Bloemfontein 9300, South Africa

Article history:

Received: June 23, 2003
Accepted: November 10, 2003

Key words:

blue cheese, yeasts, lactic acid bacteria, identification


Varieties of blue veined cheese were analyzed regularly during different stages of manufacturing and ripening to determine the origin of contaminating the yeasts present in them, their population diversity and development until the end of the storage. Yeast diversity and development in the inner and outer core of the cheeses during ripening were also compared. Air samples revealed few if any yeasts whereas the samples in contact with the equipment and the surroundings revealed high number of yeasts, implicating it as the possible main source of post-pasteurization contamination, as very few yeasts were isolated from the milk and cheese making process itself. Samples from the inner and outer core of the maturing cheeses had typical survival curves. The number of yeasts on the outer core was about a 100-fold more than of those in the inner core. The most abundant yeasts isolated from the environment and ripening cheeses were identified as Debaryomyces hansenii, Saccharomyces cerevisiae, Torulaspora delbrueckii, Trichosporon beigelii, Candida versatilis and Cryptococcus albidus, while the yeasts Candida zeylanoides and Dekkera anomala were additionally isolated from the environment. Yeasts were present  in high number, making their occurrence in blue-veined cheeses meaningful. 

*Corresponding author: 
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