Highlighting the microbial community of Kuflu cheese, an artisanal Turkish mold-ripened variety, by high-throughput sequencing
Received: Aug 18, 2023 ; Revised: Sep 08, 2023 ; Accepted: Sep 10, 2023
Published Online: Sep 21, 2023
Kuflu cheese, a popular variety of traditional Turkish mold-ripened cheeses, is characterized by its semi-hard texture and blue-green color. It is important to elucidate the microbiota of Kuflu cheese produced from raw milk to standardize and sustain its sensory properties. This study aimed to examine the bacteria, yeasts, and filamentous mold communities in Kuflu cheese using high-throughput amplicon sequencing based on 16S and ITS2 regions. Lactococcus, Streptococcus, and Staphylococcus were the most dominant bacterial genera while Bifidobacterium genus was found to be remarkably high in some Kuflu cheese samples. Penicillium genus dominated the filamentous mold biota while the yeasts with the highest relative abundances were detected as Debaryomyces, Pichia, and Candida. The genera Virgibacillus and Paraliobacillus, which were not previously reported for mold-ripened cheeses, were detected at high relative abundances in some Kuflu cheese samples. None of the genera that include important food pathogens like Salmonella, Campylobacter, Listeria were detected in the samples. This is the first experiment in which the microbiota of Kuflu cheeses were evaluated with a metagenomic approach. This study provided an opportunity to evaluate Kuflu cheese, which was previously examined for fungal composition, in terms of both pathogenic and beneficial bacteria.