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Production of microbial cultures

Long before people were conscious about the existence of microorganisms, they were already largely used in the transformation of milk-based foods, meats, fish, vegetables and fruits.

In the 1800 century, a number of scientific studies were conducted, supporting the selection of bacteria and the development of new technologies to improve the quality and regularity of fermented products.

Today we can divide cultures into two categories:

1. Starters and bulk starters also called natural or traditional cultures the use of which is decreasing in developed countries. They come from milk that has not undergone any sanitation treatment or from back-slopping (the reuse of a fraction of the previous production). Their composition is complex and varies according to their origin.

2. Selected industrially produced cultures that are composed of pure strains, alone or in combination which are manufactured after careful selection process under strictly controlled conditions. They are sold in liquid, frozen or freeze-dried formats.

Important milestones

1857-1876 - Louis Pasteur in France proved the role of microorganisms in lactic and alcoholic fermentation

1889 -1896 - Herbert Williams Conn in the United States, W. Storch in Denmark and Hermann Weigmann in Germany demonstrated that bacteria were responsible for the acidification of milk and of the maturation of cream.

1897- Eduard von Freudenreich isolated a lactobacillus (Lactobacillus brevis).

Beg 1970 – First industrial concentrated cultures, frozen or freeze dried, for the direct inoculation of processed milk, improving the regularity of production processes.