MLJEKARSTVO, vol.62, no.1, pp.53-61, 2012 (SCI-Expanded)
In this study, 146 yeast isolates were obtained from 45 Erzincan tulum cheese samples. By using API ID 32C test system and some complementary morphological, physiological and biochemical tests, 121 of the isolates could be identified at species level, while 12 of them were identified at genus level. The identified yeast isolates belonged to six different genera which were Candida, Geotrichum, Kluyveromyces, Pichia, Saccharomyces and Zygosaccharomyces. The most aboundant species was C. lambica, followed by C. zeylanoides, C. famata var. famata, G. candidum and C. kefyr. Enzymatic characterization of the strains was determined by using API-ZYM test system. All of the isolates had leucin arylamidase activity. Eight strains belonging to S. cerevisiae, Z. mellis, G. candidum and P fermentans were found to have high leucin arylamidase activities. Most of the isolates had beta-galactosidase, acid phosphatase and esterase lipase (C8) activities. Eight investigated C. lambica strains had high acid phosphatase activities. Such enzymatic properties of investigated yeast isolates could be fundamental factor for their application as starter culture candidates in production of Erzincan tulum cheese. It was demonstrated that the strain C. lambica T103 had superior enzymatic characteristics with the potential to be used in further technological investigations as an adjunct starter.