Characterisation of the microflora contaminating the wooden vats used for traditional Sicilian cheese production

  • Maria Luisa Scatassa | luisa.scatassa@izssicilia.it Institute for Experimental Veterinary Medicine of Sicily A. Mirri, Palermo, Italy.
  • Cinzia Cardamone Institute for Experimental Veterinary Medicine of Sicily A. Mirri, Palermo, Italy.
  • Viviana Miraglia Institute for Experimental Veterinary Medicine of Sicily A. Mirri, Palermo, Italy.
  • Fabrizio Lazzara Institute for Experimental Veterinary Medicine of Sicily A. Mirri, Palermo, Italy.
  • Gerlando Fiorenza Institute for Experimental Veterinary Medicine of Sicily A. Mirri, Palermo, Italy.
  • Giusi Macaluso Institute for Experimental Veterinary Medicine of Sicily A. Mirri, Palermo, Italy.
  • Luigi Arcuri Local Health Unit 6, Palermo, Italy.
  • Luca Settanni Department of Agricultural and Forest Sciences, University of Palermo, Italy.
  • Isabella Mancuso Institute for Experimental Veterinary Medicine of Sicily A. Mirri, Palermo, Italy.

Abstract

Traditional Sicilian cheese productions are carried out employing traditional wooden vats, called tina. Many studies have highlighted the beneficial role of wooden dairy equipment by contributing to enriching the milk microflora and improving the acidification processes. The present work was undertaken to evaluate the safety of the wooden vats used to coagulate milk. To this purpose, the different microbial populations hosted onto the internal surfaces of the vats used to produce two different stretched cheeses, namely Caciocavallo Palermitano and Vastedda della valle del Belìce DOP, were investigated for the presence of spoilage and pathogenic microorganisms as well as for bacteria with inhibitory effect in vitro against pathogenic microorganisms. A wide biodiversity of protechnological lactic acid bacteria (LAB), in terms of species, was revealed. Several LAB inhibited the growth of Listeria monocytogenes ATCC 7644. The wooden vats analysed resulted safe for three main findings: absence of the main pathogenic species, presence of high levels of LAB, anti-Listeria activity of many LAB.

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Published
2015-03-17
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Original Articles
Supporting Agencies
this work was supported by the Italian Ministry of Health Research Project RC 06-2011 Prodotti lattiero caseari tradizionali Siciliani, tecniche di produzione e rischio microbiologico
Keywords:
Wooden vat, Biofilm, Sicilian cheese, Inhibitory activity, Food safety
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How to Cite
Scatassa, M. L., Cardamone, C., Miraglia, V., Lazzara, F., Fiorenza, G., Macaluso, G., Arcuri, L., Settanni, L., & Mancuso, I. (2015). Characterisation of the microflora contaminating the wooden vats used for traditional Sicilian cheese production. Italian Journal of Food Safety, 4(1). https://doi.org/10.4081/ijfs.2015.4509