This paper, the second of four, discusses the starters used in Swiss cheese manufacture. Propionibacteria are essential for development of characteristic Swiss cheese flavor; high-temperature lactobacilli and Streptococcus thermophilus are necessary for control of body, texture, acidity, moisture, and other related factors.

The effects of pH, salt, temperature, metals, and media composition on growth of propionibacteria are first discussed. Since growth inhibition and stimulation of propionibacteria are closely related to Swiss cheese quality, these factors also are considered. Maintenance of cultures in the plant is mentioned with some concern being given to the outcome of the use of raw and sterilized milk on starter growth.

Then, heat resistance, storage, freeze-drying, and symbiotic growth of high-temperature lactic-acid bacteria are discussed. Slow-acid production caused by metallic inhibitors, antibiotics, and bacteriophages also is reviewed.

Relationships between manufacturing processes and procedures and Swiss cheese quality are discussed. In this portion of the review, we are primarily concerned with growth and changes of bacterial flora in the milk and curd from the vat to the warm room. This includes the influence of such factors as preripening, cutting, cooking, pressing, block size, brining, and prestorage before the warm room.

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Author notes

1Journal Paper No. J-7504 of the Iowa Agriculture and Home Economics Experiment Station, Ames, Iowa. Project No. 1839.

2This review is appearing in four parts: I. Milk Quality and Treatments was published in a previous issue; III. Ripening and Flavor Production; and IV. Defects will appear in subsequent issues. Literature citations will follow part IV.