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Cultures

There is a large variety of cultures used in producing cheese and other dairy products such as buttermilk and yogurt. Refer to the following chart for a guideline as to what cultures are used for which dairy product.

Guide to what cultures are used for which cheeses & other dairy products

Dairy Culture Terminology & Use Information

Guide to what cultures are used for which cheeses & other dairy products

Basic American "Mesophilic" Cheese Varieties

  • Cheddar

  • Colby

  • Monterey Jack

  • Cottage Cheese

Types of cultures used:

  • (LL) Lactococcus lactis subsp. lactis

  • (LLC) Lactococcus lactis subsp. cremoris

  • (ST) Streptococcus thermophilus

Basic Italian "Thermophilic" Cheese Varieties

  • Parmesan

  • Romano

  • Provolone

  • Mozzarella 

Types of cultures used:

  • (ST) Streptococcus thermophilus

  • (LB) Lactobacillus delbrueckii subsp. bulgaricus

  • (LH) Lactobacillus helveticus

  • (LBL) Lactobacillus lactis

Cheeses With Eyes

  • Swiss

  • Emmental

  • Gouda

  • Edam 

Types of cultures used:

  • (LL) Lactococcus lactis subsp. lactis

  • (LLC) Lactococcus lactis subsp. cremoris

  • (LLD) Lactococcus lactis subsp. biovar diacetylactis

  • (LMC) Leuconostoc mesenteroides subsp. cremoris

  • (ST) Streptococcus thermophilus

  • (LB) Lactobacillus delbrueckii subsp. bulgaricus

  • (LBL) Lactobacillus lactis

  • (PS) Propionibacterium shermanii

Fermented Milks & Cream

  • Bulgarian Buttermilk

  • Acidophilus Milk

  • Buttermilk

  • Sour Cream

Types of cultures used:

  • (LL) Lactococcus lactis subsp. lactis

  • (LLC) Lactococcus lactis subsp. cremoris

  • (LLD) Lactococcus lactis subsp. biovar diacetylactis

  • (LMC) Leuconostoc mesenteroides subsp. cremoris

  • (LA) Lactobacillus acidophilus

Goat and Sheep Cheese

  • Feta

  • Manchego

  • Chevre 

Types of cultures used:

  • (LL) Lactococcus lactis subsp. lactis

  • (LLC) Lactococcus lactis subsp. cremoris

  • (LLD) Lactococcus lactis subsp. biovar diacetylactis

  • (LMC) Leuconostoc mesenteroides subsp. cremoris

Mold Ripened Cheese

  • Brie

  • Camembert

  • Blue

  • Gorgonzola

  • Stilton 

Types of cultures used:

  • (LL) Lactococcus lactis subsp. lactis

  • (LLC) Lactococcus lactis subsp. cremoris

  • (LLD) Lactococcus lactis subsp. biovar diacetylactis

  • (LMC) Leuconostoc mesenteidess subsp. cremoris

Specialty Cheeses

  • Brick

  • Limburger

  • Muenster 

Types of cultures used:

  • (LL) Lactococcus lactis subsp. lactis

  • (LLC) Lactococcus lactis subsp. cremoris

  • (LLD) Lactococcus lactis subsp. biovar diacetylactis

  • (ST) Streptococcus thermophilus

  • (LB) Lactobacillus delbrueckii subsp. bulgaricus

  • (LBL) Lactobacillus lactis

  • (LBC) Lactobacillus casei subsp. casei

Yogurt

Types of cultures used:

  • (ST) Streptococcus thermophilus

  • (LB) Lactobacillus delbrueckii subsp. bulgaricus

  • (LA) Lactobacillus acidophilus

  • (BBL) Bifidobacterium lactis

  • (BBI) Bifidobacterium infantis

Dairy Culture Terminology & Use Information

Mesophilic Aroma Cultures

  • (LLD) = Lactococcus lactis subsp. biovar diacetylactis

  • (LMC) = Leuconostoc mesenteroides subsp. cremoris

  • Temperature growth range = 5° - 38°C (41°- 100° F)

  • Optimum growth and diacetyl flavor producing range = 18° - 25°C (64°- 77° F)

  • Production of CO2

  • Lactococcus lactis biovar diacetylactis also will produce lactic acid in addition to diacetyl and CO2

Mesophilic Lactic Acid Starter Cultures

  • (LL) = Lactococcus lactis subsp. lactis

  • (LLC) Lactococcus lactis subsp. cremoris

  • The two main lactic acid producing bacteria used by the cheese industry

  • Homofermentive lactococci, primarily used for producing lactic acid.

  • Temperature growth range = 10° - 42°C (50°- 108° F)

  • Optimum growth rate = 25° - 30°C (77°- 86° F)

  • Lactococcus lactis subsp. cremoris  is more salt sensitive (<4%) and more temperature sensitive (40°C/104°F) than Lactococcus lactis subsp. lactis

Miscellaneous Cultures

  • (LA) Lactobacillus acidophilus

  • (BBL) Bifidobacterium longum

  • (BBI) Bifidobacterium infantis

  • (PS) Propionibacterium shermanii

  • Optimum growth rate temperature = 37° - 41°C (98°- 106° F)

  • Optimum growth and flavor production range will vary for each individual culture

Thermophilic Acid Starter Cultures

  • (ST) Streptococcus thermophilus

  • (LB) Lactobacillus delbrueckii subsp. bulgaricus

  • (LH) Lactobacillus helveticus

  • (LBL) Lactobacillus lactis

  • (LBC) Lactobacillus casei subsp. casei

  • Temperature growth range = 20° - 52°C (68°- 125° F)

  • Optimum growth and flavor production range will vary for each individual culture