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Researchers have discovered that the bacteria that ripen cheese react to the volatile gases produced by the cheese fungus-ScienceDaily.

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Researchers at Tufts University say that these apparently funky odors from cheese are one way fungi communicate with bacteria, and what they say is the variety of delicious flavors cheese offers and many. I found it to be related. The researchers found that common bacteria, essential for cheese ripening, sense and respond to compounds produced by exodermis fungi and released into the air, increasing the growth of some bacteria more than others. I found that I could do it. The composition of the bacteria, yeasts, and fungi that make up the cheese microbiome is important to the flavor and quality of the cheese, so understanding how it can be controlled or altered adds science to cheesemaking technology. Will be done.

Discoveries published in Environmental microbiologyAlso provides a model for understanding and altering other economically and clinically important microbiomes such as soil and gastrointestinal tract.

Benjamin Wolf, a professor of biology at Tufts University’s Faculty of Arts and Sciences, said, “Human beings have long valued the diverse aromas of cheese for hundreds of years. It has not been studied whether it affects the disease. ” Author of the study. “Our latest findings show that cheese microbes can use these aromas to dramatically change biology, and the importance of the findings extends beyond cheese production to other areas. It also extends. “

Many microorganisms produce compounds in the air called volatile organic compounds (VOCs) when they interact with the environment. The widely recognized microbial VOC is geosmin. It is released from soil microbes and can often smell after heavy rains in the forest. When bacteria and fungi grow on aged cheese, they secrete enzymes that break down amino acids to produce acids, alcohols, aldehydes, amines, and various sulfur compounds, while other enzymes break down fatty acids into esters, methylketones, and secondary. Produces alcohol. All of these biological products contribute to the flavor and aroma of cheese, which is why Camembert, blue cheese and limburger have a unique aroma.

Tufts researchers have found that VOCs not only contribute to the cheese sensory experience, but also provide a way for fungi to communicate and “supply” bacteria within the cheese microbiome. By combining 16 common cheese bacteria with 5 common cheese skin fungi, researchers provoke a bacterial response ranging from strong irritation to strong inhibition. I found. One bacterial species, Vibriocasei, responded by growing rapidly in the presence of VOCs released from all five fungi. Other bacteria, such as cyclobacter, grow only in response to one of the fungi (galactomyces), and when exposed to VOCs produced by galactomyces, the numbers of two common cheese bacteria are significant. Has decreased to.

Researchers have found that VOCs alter the expression of many genes in bacteria, including genes that affect how nutrients are metabolized. One of the enhanced metabolic mechanisms, glyoxylic acid shunts, allows bacteria to use simpler compounds as “food” when more complex sources such as glucose are not available. In effect, they allowed bacteria to better “eat” some VOCs and use them as a source of energy and growth.

“Bacteria can actually eat what we perceive as an olfactory sense,” said Casey Cosetta, a postdoctoral fellow at Tufts University’s Faculty of Biology. “This is important because cheese itself provides very few easily metabolized sugars such as glucose. With VOCs, fungi help the bacteria grow.”

This study has a direct impact on cheese producers around the world. When you enter the cheese cave, more VOCs are released into the atmosphere as the cheese ages. These VOCs can affect the development of adjacent cheeses by promoting or inhibiting the growth of certain microorganisms or by altering the way bacteria produce other flavor-enhancing biological products. There is sex. A better understanding of this process will allow cheese growers to manipulate the VOC environment to improve the quality and variety of flavors.

The significance of the study can be even greater. “Now that we know that chemicals in the air can control the composition of the microbiome, we can start thinking about ways to control the composition of other microbiomes. For example, agriculture improves soil quality and crop production. But in medicine, it helps manage the affected illnesses. Hundreds of bacteria in the body. “

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Materials provided by Tufts University.. Note: The content can be edited in style and length.

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