Enterococcus ssp. produced broad-spectrum bacteriocins, which were active against Listeria innocua and Listeria monocytogenes. Inhibition of L. innocua in milk by different starter cultures was evaluated. Milk was inoculated with a conventional starter (Streptococcus salivarius ssp. thermophilus and Lactobacillus delbrueckii ssp. bulgaricus mixed cultures) as a sole starter or in combination with inhibitory starter cultures (Enterococcus ssp., bacteriocin-producing strains). Tests were performed under a temperature gradient that reproduced the first 55 h of Taleggio cheese manufacturing and in the presence of rennet. Results indicated that satisfactory inhibition of L. innocua was linked to the combined synergistic antimicrobial effect of pH decrease and bacteriocin production. Overall, data suggested that a potential existed for use of the antagonistic activity from enterococci for protection of Taleggio cheese during ripening, when L. monocytogenes may often reach dangerous concentrations. © 1994, American Dairy Science Association. All rights reserved.
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