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Pink defect in cheese.

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    Posted: 27 Jun 2016 at 8:08pm
Is Thermus thermophilus the causal agent of pinking in cheese? “Pinking” the development of a red / pink colour in many cheese-types has been known for many years and is a significant cause of economic loss. Recently Quigley et. al. (2016) used shotgun metagenomic sequencing to reveal the presence of bacteria from the phylum Deinococcus-Thermus in faulty cheese. They subsequently identified Thermus thermophilus as the likely cause of the defect. For more see the News Section.



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  • Crumbly/short: often due to excess salt or acid
  • Corky: due to overcooking, low fat, low moisture, or excess salt.
  • Mealy: this defect can be detected on the palate or by massaging the cheese between the thumb and forefinger. It is usually associated with excess acidity.
  • Pasty: sticks to the palate and fingers; due to excess moisture.
  • Weak: breaks down too quickly when worked by hand; due excess fat or moisture.
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