Traditional manufacture of bread from maize has been noted to play important roles from both economic and social standpoints; however, enforcement of increasingly strict hygiene standards requires thorough knowledge of the adventitious microbiota of the departing dough. To this goal, sourdough as well as maize and rye flours from several geographic locations and in two different periods within the agricultural year were assayed for their microbiota in sequential steps of quantification and identification. More than 400 strains were isolated and taxonomic differentiation between them was via Biomerieux API galleries (375 of which were successfully identified) following preliminary biochemical and morphological screening. The dominant groups were yeasts and lactic acid bacteria (LAB). The most frequently isolated yeasts were Saccharomyces cerevisiae and Candida pelliculosa. The most frequently isolated LAB were (heterofermentative) Leuconostoc spp. and (homo-fermentative) Lactobacillus spp.; L. brevis, L. curvatus, and L. lactis ssp. lactis were the dominant species for the Lactobacillus genera; Lactococcus lactis ssp. lactis for lactococci; Enterococcus casseliflavus, E. durans, and E. faecium for enterococci; and Streptococcus constellantus and S. equinus for streptococci.

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