Date of Award:

5-1998

Document Type:

Thesis

Degree Name:

Master of Science (MS)

Department:

Nutrition, Dietetics, and Food Sciences

Committee

Jeffery R. Broadbent

Committee

Donald J. McMahon

Committee

Michael E. Wright

Abstract

This study investigated the role of exopolysaccharide (EPS) in cheese moisture retention. Analysis of low-fat Mozzarella cheese made with different combinations of EPS-producing (Streptococcus thermophilus MR-1C and Lactobacillus delbrueckii ssp. bulgaricus MR-lR) and non-EPS-producing (S. thermophilus TA061 and L. helveticus LH100) starters showed significantly higher moisture levels in cheese made with S. thermophilus MR-1C. To determine if the S. thermophilus MR-1C EPS was responsible for increased moisture retention, gene replacement was used to inactivate the epsE gene in this bacterium. Low-fat Mozzarella cheese made with L. helveticus LH100 plus the EPS-negative mutant, S. thermophilus DM1O, had significantly lower moisture content than cheese made with LH100 and MR-1C, which confirmed that the MR-1C capsular EPS was responsible for the water-binding properties of this bacterium in cheese. Chemical analysis of the S. thermophilus MR-lC EPS indicated that it had a repeating unit composed of D-galactose, L-rhamnose, and L-fucose in a ratio of 5:2:1. Interestingly, carbohydrate utilization tests showed that DMlO had acquired the ability to ferment galactose.

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