• Effect of thermoresistant protease of Pseudomonas fluorescens on rennet coagulation properties and proteolysis of milk

      Paludetti, Lizandra F.; Kelly, Alan L.; Gleeson, David; Teagasc Walsh Fellowship Program; Dairy Levy project (American Dairy Science Association, 2020-05)
      This study aimed to investigate the effect of different activity levels of a thermoresistant protease, produced by Pseudomonas fluorescens (ATCC 17556), on the cheesemaking properties of milk and proteolysis levels. Sterilized reconstituted skim milk powder was inoculated with the bacteria, and after incubation, centrifuged to obtain a supernatant-containing protease. Raw milk was collected and inoculated to obtain a protease activity of 0.15, 0.60, and 1.5 U/L of milk (treatments P1, P4, and P10, respectively). One sample was not inoculated (control) and noninoculated supernatant was added to a fifth sample to be used as a negative control. Samples were stored at 4°C for 72 h. After 0, 48, and 72 h, the rennet coagulation properties and proteolysis levels were assessed. The protease produced was thermoresistant, as no significant differences were observed in the activity in the pasteurized (72°C for 15 s) and nonpasteurized supernatants. The chromatograms and electrophoretograms indicated that the protease preferably hydrolyzed κ-casein and β-casein, and levels of proteolysis increased with added protease activity over storage time. The hydrolysis of αS-caseins and major whey proteins increased considerably in P10 milk samples. At 0 h, the increase in the level of protease activity decreased the rennet coagulation time (RCT, min) of the samples, possibly due to synergistic proteolysis of κ-casein into para-κ-casein. However, over prolonged storage, hydrolysis of β-casein and αS-casein increased in P4 and P10 samples. The RCT of P4 samples increased over time and the coagulum became softer, whereas P10 samples did not coagulate after 48 h of storage. In contrast, the RCT of P1 samples decreased over time and a firmer coagulum was obtained, possibly due to a lower rate of hydrolysis of β-casein and αS-casein. Increased levels of protease could result in further hydrolysis of caseins, affecting the processability of milk over storage time.