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The bacteria used in cheesemaking are divided into two main groups: mesophilic and thermophilic. Mesophilic bacteria grow best at lower temperatures than thermophilic bacteria. Mesophilic culture blends are used primarily for American-style and specialty cheeses (ie: cheddar, brie, etc.) while thermophilc cultures are frequently used in Italian-style cheeses such as parmesan, etc.

Mesophilic bacteria are further divided into two groups: Lactic Acid Starter bacteria (including Lactococcus lactis subsp. lactis and Lactococcus lactis subsp. cremoris), which are primarily used for producing lactic acid, and Aroma Producing bacteria (including Lactococcus lactis subsp. lactis biovar diacetylactis and Leuconostoc mesenteriodes subsp. cremoris), which are primarily used for producing CO2 gas and flavor. Many culture blends contain a mixture of these two types of mesophilic bacteria. Mesophilic cultures grow at 50-108° F, with an optimum range between 77-86° F.

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This mesophilic adjunct culture is helpful as a flavor enhancer when used in cheese and fermented milk fermentation. Must be used with another starter culture.

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