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Cheesomics: the future pathway to understanding cheese flavour and quality
journal contributionposted on 2023-02-21, 03:48 authored by R Afshari, CJ Pillidge, DA Dias, AM Osborn, H Gill
Cheese is a fermented dairy product, harboring diverse microbial communities (microbiota) that change over time and vary depending on the type of cheese and their respective starter and adjunct cultures. These microorganisms play a crucial role in determining the flavor, quality and safety of the final product. Exploring the composition of cheese microbiota and the underlying molecular mechanisms involved in cheese ripening has been the subject of many studies. Recent advances in next generation sequencing (NGS) methods and the development of sophisticated bioinformatics tools have provided deeper insights into the composition and potential functionality of cheese microbiota far beyond the information provided by culture-dependent methods. These advances, which include rRNA gene amplicon sequencing and metagenomics, have been complemented and expanded in recent years by the application of metatranscriptomics, metaproteomics and metabolomics. This paper reviews studies in which application of these meta-omics technologies has led to a better understanding of the microbial composition and functionality of cheese and highlights opportunities by which the integration of outputs from diverse multi-omics analytical platforms (cheesomics) could be used in the future to advance our knowledge of the cheese ripening process and identify biomarkers for predicting cheese flavor, quality, texture and safety, and bioactive metabolites with potential to influence human health.