- Dairy Starter Cultures
Starter cultures have been used for centuries in the production and preservation of fermented dairy products. However, it was unknown until the nineteenth century that indigenous lactic acid bacteria (LAB) present in raw milk were responsible for the coagulation of milk and cream ripening. The use of small portions of the coagulated milk as inoculum (back-slopping) for cheese or fermented milk manufacture purposes became the origin of the current starters, as this practice resulted in fermented products with valued/enhanced organoleptic properties. In 1890, Conn in the United States, Storch in Denmark, and Weigmann in Germany observed that pure cultures of Streptococcus lactis and/or Streptococcus cremoris (acid producers) prompted the production of good “avored butter. However, the traditional butter “avor was not achieved until 1919 when mixed cultures of acid producers and aroma producers (Streptococcus diacetilactis and Leuconostoc) were used by Hammer and Bailey (United States), Storch (Denmark), and de Vries (Holland). Diacetyl was identi…ed as the main butter aroma compound with citrate as its precursor (Michaelian et al. 1938).