Author Topic: TA Cultures and Stabilized vs. Hard Cheeses?  (Read 1187 times)

Offline Symbol

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TA Cultures and Stabilized vs. Hard Cheeses?
« on: July 07, 2012, 12:29:07 PM »
I did a quick search and couldn't quite find the information I was looking for, so I figured I'd ask here.

What are the differences between the various TA cultures?
For example, if I look at the Glengarry website under "Thermophilic Starters from Danisco" I see two rows in the chart for TA cultures: TA050, 52, 54 (which is apparently for "stabilized cheese") and TA060-62 (which says it's for "hard cheese").
It also looks like the TA05x series are much slower acidifiers than the 06x. Is that the only difference? They both appear to contain only S. thermophilus.

What do they mean by "stabilized cheese"?
Do each of these cultures contain multiple strains of S. thermophilus? (As in the TA05x series contains 50, 52, and 54 in each packet? Or do you generally pick a single strain when ordering?)

If someone could educate me on this matter, I'd sure appreciate it a lot. :)

Cheers,
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Offline Sailor Con Queso

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Re: TA Cultures and Stabilized vs. Hard Cheeses?
« Reply #1 on: July 07, 2012, 12:44:35 PM »
The variations like TA 50, 52, or 54, for example are slightly different rotational strains for phage resistance. That is rarely a concern of the hobby cheese maker so you can use whichever one that you want. There is a bigger difference between the TA50 and TA60. Yes, TA50 is slower, but it also is self limiting in the amount of acid it ultimately produces. That means that the pH will not get as low with the TA50 series, usually bottoming out around 5.2. This also means that all of the lactose is not consumed unless you are using a companion culture like LH100. But that depends on the kind of cheese that you are making.
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Offline scasnerkay

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Re: TA Cultures and Stabilized vs. Hard Cheeses?
« Reply #2 on: July 07, 2012, 12:50:43 PM »
Is there a good place to read what different cultures provide, in language somewhat easy to understand?
Susan

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Re: TA Cultures and Stabilized vs. Hard Cheeses?
« Reply #3 on: July 07, 2012, 01:14:08 PM »
Thanks, Sailor! :)
I'm hoping to try out the extended shelf life cheddar curd recipe posted on the wacheese website at some point and was just wondering which cultures would be best to use.

With your answer in mind, I think I'll probably go with TA060 and MD 088 when I next place and order and see how that goes.

scansnerkay: I've found the articles on the WA Cheese Guild website (curd recipe linked above) immensely helpful in understanding cultures and the like. Other than that, I've learned a lot just by going through the forums here and reading what others have posted.

What exactly are you looking for? If it's just a list of which strains are included in a particular culture, that can usually be found on the manufacturer's or distributor's website. If it's what each culture does and what its role is in the cheesemaking process then I'd probably start by doing a search for it here and/or on Wikipedia and maybe follow links and references from there if you still want more info.

Ideally I'd like to find a good book on the biochemistry of cheesemaking at some point. Recipes I can find, but I'd love to have a good reference that explains the various reactions and microbes. I haven't started my search yet as I've been keeping myself plenty busy just reading through the forums here and testing simple cheese recipes, but when I do, I'll let you know what I find. Maybe it would be helpful to you too. :)

Cheers,
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Offline linuxboy

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Re: TA Cultures and Stabilized vs. Hard Cheeses?
« Reply #4 on: July 08, 2012, 09:28:37 AM »
Symbol, it's as Sailor wrote. s salivarius is a special species of bacteria in the cheese world. Generally when considering cheese applications for lactose-consuming species, we look at it along the lines of the following continuum

- Moderate-temp  (70-85) loving heterofermentive lactococci such as leuconostoc and some strains of l lactis
- Regular meso lactococci (80-~100F). predominantly l lactis powerhouse
- heterofermentive lactobacilli (90-110F), such as casei, rhamnosus, etc. these are your NSLAB
- Lactobacilli (95-125F), such as delbrueckii and helveticus.

That forms the core foundation of useful organisms that may be used as starters. If you examined them under a microscope, you'd see that the shapes and morphological attributes also change based on the expected temp ranges.

S salivarius thermophilus is special. For one, it spans this space in between normal lactococci and lactobacilli. Meaning it's both mesophilic and thermophilic, if we stick to that outdated naming convention. Two, it possesses texturizing properties. It, more than many other types and strains, tends to have "mucus" in the form of polysaccharide chains on the outer walls. Think of them like ropes that have small hooks in them. As those ropes tangle up, the bacteria form strands or chains, that are capable of trapping water and creating texture. In dairy science, we call these exo-polysaccharides. And three, as sailor helpfully noted, S salivarius tends to vary in how and what it eats. So some strains mellow out relatively early.

All of these and other interesting properties of S salivarius enable us cheesemakers to use them to create very novel cheese applications. Such as stabilized bloomy rinds. And more recently, such as the novel application I came up with in that extended shelf life fresh curd. It also enabled us to create custom culture blends.. such as picking a strain with specific texture and acid properties for yogurt, or for mozz. A stabilized cheese, BTW, is one that has longer shelf life or where the ripening or maturation processes stop quickly to enable the longer shelf life.

scasnerkay, we have a huge library here where you can read for free.

Quote
love to have a good reference that explains the various reactions and microbes.
My favorite is Pat Fox. We've had a few threads before discussing books.

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Offline Symbol

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Re: TA Cultures and Stabilized vs. Hard Cheeses?
« Reply #5 on: July 08, 2012, 10:58:40 AM »
Thanks for the additional information, LB. :)

I had been wondering about the exopolysaccharide production. The info on the wacheese page:
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Streptococcus thermophilus, a mild to fast acidifying strain, preferably with exopolysaccharide properties
led me to believe that only certain strains of S. thermophilus would produce them. Based on what you've said here though, it sounds like exopolysaccharide production is a defining trait of the species so, I'm guessing that it's more that different strains will produce different amounts (or possibly even types?) of exopolysaccharide just as they may be faster or slower acidifiers.
(It also leaves me thinking of these little bacteria as the hagfish of the microbe world. :P )

I'm not sure what "NSLAB" means. I'm guessing the "LAB" part is "Lactic Acid Bacteria"... Time to wander back over to the glossary!

Quote from: linuxboy
My favorite is Pat Fox. We've had a few threads before discussing books.
Thanks, I'll keep and eye out for that one. And I'll definitely poke my head into the book discussion threads at some point. I just haven't quite gotten there yet. I've been mostly browsing the wiki and various cheese-specific threads and the like so far. (It took me a couple of days to get through all the mozzarella/pasta filata discussions!)

Thanks again for your help! I'm looking forward to learning more as I go. :)
Cheers,
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Offline linuxboy

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Re: TA Cultures and Stabilized vs. Hard Cheeses?
« Reply #6 on: July 08, 2012, 11:08:20 AM »
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it sounds like exopolysaccharide production is a defining trait of the species so,
mmm, that's generally true, especially for commercial strains. I've seen a couple before that had weak formation. Also, the food substrate differs. I've had cases where I would change the amino acid ratios and would get ultra thick goop. All I meant in that recipe is for people to do some research about what to use. In reality, just about any strain will work. Some (like 50 and 60 series from danisco) work better than others, though.

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it's more that different strains will produce different amounts (or possibly even types?) of exopolysaccharide just as they may be faster or slower acidifiers.
Yep, you nailed it. That's why, for example, not all yogurt has the same texture.

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"NSLAB" means. I'm guessing the "LAB" part is "Lactic Acid Bacteria"
Non-starter. Meaning, not used for primary acidification. these are the bacteria that give cheese its flavor.
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