There is a growing trend in the production and appreciation of artisanal cheeses in Brazil. One of the factors that most contributes to the differentiation of artisanal cheeses is the production process that confer identity and quality characteristics to these products. However, this diversity in production processes, including the use of endogenous yeast popularly known as "pingo", to the manufacturing stages, packaging, use of raw milk, and environmental factors are characteristics that also need to be studied for the establishment of control measures that confer product safety and quality control. The artisanal cheeses of Minas Gerais are produced on a small scale, using traditional methods of preparation, passed down through generations. Minas Artisanal cheese (Serra da Canastra region) is made using raw bovine milk, rennet, shredded, which corresponds to the fermented whey resulting from the previous day's cheese production, and is also dry salted. The production process does not include thermal treatment of the dough, with the typical safety, quality and sensory characteristics being attributed to maturation at room temperature for at least 14 days. Omics approaches, such as metabolomics, proteomics, lipidomics and genomics, have been used to understand the complex ecological interactions in many types of artisanal cheeses, although they are still incipient in the study of Brazilian artisanal cheeses. This project aims to deepen knowledge about the dynamics of microbial metabolic activity resulting from different "pingos" during the maturation of Canastra cheese, using omics techniques (metagenomics, lipidomics, metabolomics and volatilomics), in addition to conventional microbiological methods for the knowledge of the metabolites responsible for the quality of these cheeses during their maturation process. The cheeses will be produced with different "pingos" collected in Serra da Canastra region, in a pre-selected cheese factory in the region, and transported to the FoRC, where the omics analyzes will be carried out. After preparing the samples, they will be submitted to metagenomic analysis by Shotgun, UPLC chromatography, HRMS Q-TOF mass spectrometry, GC-MS and GC-MS/MS. Data will be processed using chemoinformatics software to associate chemical responses to the expression of the microbiome responsible for the metabolic dynamics in the maturation process of Minas Artisanal cheese.
News published in Agência FAPESP Newsletter about the scholarship: