Free access
Volume 82, Number 2, March-April 2002
Page(s) 151 - 170

Lait 82 (2002) 151-170
DOI: 10.1051/lait:2002001

Advances in the role of a plant coagulant (Cynara cardunculus) in vitro and during ripening of cheeses from several milk species

Maria José Sousaa, b and F. Xavier Malcataa

a  Escola Superior de Biotecnologia, Universidade Católica Portuguesa, Rua Dr. António Bernardino de Almeida, 4200-072 Porto, Portugal
b  Department of Food Science, Food Technology and Nutrition, University College, Cork, Ireland

(Received 7 December 2000; accepted 26 June 2001)

Extracts from dried flowers of Cynara cardunculus have been employed successfully for many centuries in Portugal and some regions of Spain for the manufacture of traditional cheeses. Several studies have been performed in vitro and in actual cheeses focusing on the activity and specificity of proteinases from C. cardunculus, in attempts to further characterise this plant coagulant as a proteolytic agent in cheese ripening. In vitro studies encompassed extraction conditions, storage of extracts, proteolysis and specificity on caseins using experimental conditions that parallel milk and cheese during ripening. In vivo studies encompassed the effect of the type of milk (bovine, ovine and caprine) in terms of proteolysis, specificity of those plant proteinases during ripening, comparison of microbiological, chemical, proteolytic and lipolytic characteristics in ovine milk cheeses relative to animal rennet counterparts, and effect of native microflora, thermal processing and addition of starter cultures in ovine cheeses.

Rôle de l'extrait coagulant de chardon (Cynara cardunculus) in vitro et au cours de l'affinage de fromages fabriqués à partir de laits de plusieurs espèces. L'extrait de fleurs séchées de Cynara cardunculus a été employé avec succès depuis plusieurs siècles au Portugal et dans quelques régions d'Espagne pour la fabrication de fromages traditionnels. De nombreuses études ont été réalisées in vitro et en fabrication fromagère sur l'activité et la spécificité des protéases de C. cardunculus, dans le but de mieux caractériser ce coagulant végétal comme agent protéolytique dans l'affinage du fromage. Les études in vitro ont concerné les conditions d'extraction, la conservation des extraits, la protéolyse et la spécificité sur les caséines en utilisant des conditions expérimentales qui permettent de faire la comparaison avec le lait et le fromage au cours de l'affinage. Les études in vivo ont concerné l'effet du type de lait (bovin, ovin ou caprin) en termes de protéolyse, la spécificité de ces protéases végétales au cours de l'affinage, la comparaison des caractéristiques microbiologiques, chimiques, protéolytiques et lipolytiques des fromages au lait de brebis par rapport à ceux obtenus à partir de présure animale, et les effets de la microflore d'origine, du traitement thermique et de l'addition de levains sur les fromages de brebis.

Key words: milk clotting enzyme / plant coagulant / cheese / ewe's milk / cow's milk / goat's milk / ripening

Mots clés : enzyme coagulante / coagulant végétal / fromage / lait de vache / lait de brebis / lait de chèvre / affinage

Correspondence and reprints: F. Xavier Malcata

© INRA, EDP Sciences 2002

What is OpenURL?

The OpenURL standard is a protocol for transmission of metadata describing the resource that you wish to access.

An OpenURL link contains article metadata and directs it to the OpenURL server of your choice. The OpenURL server can provide access to the resource and also offer complementary services (specific search engine, export of references...). The OpenURL link can be generated by different means.

  • If your librarian has set up your subscription with an OpenURL resolver, OpenURL links appear automatically on the abstract pages.
  • You can define your own OpenURL resolver with your EDPS Account.
    In this case your choice will be given priority over that of your library.
  • You can use an add-on for your browser (Firefox or I.E.) to display OpenURL links on a page (see You should disable this module if you wish to use the OpenURL server that you or your library have defined.