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