Indigenous microorganisms for the elaboration of lactic cultures for specific use in “suero costeño”
Keywords:suero costeño, lactic acid bacteria, fermentation, lactobacillus plantarum, streptococcus infantarius, lactococcus lactis.
Suero Costeño (SC) is a fermented milk product, traditionally made in the Colombian Caribbean Region with native microorganisms. Due to its poorly controlled processes, it has undesirable microbiological and quality characteristics during storage, commercialization, and consumption. Directed fermentation processes with the usage of specific microorganisms help to improve fermented products characteristics. A mixture design using three types of indigenous lactic-acid Bacteria (LAB) was proposed in the Suero Costeño (SC) production process on a laboratory scale. The mixture that yielded the best sensory and physicochemical characteristics were selected for its scale-up on an artisan producer scale. A naturally fermented SC produced by an artisan producer was used as a control sample (SCC). The selected mixture contained L. plantarum 66.7%, and L. lactis 33.3%. This sample showed more stability during storage and the best attributes of sensory quality. Finally, the product made under the conditions of the artisan producer with this mixture had better quality and physicochemical properties than the SCC. Still, the fermentation time was longer, probably, due to the microorganism diversity that exists in natural fermentation processes, and the stress caused by freezing the strains.