Food Sci Nutr. 2021 Feb 16;9(4):2053-2065. doi: 10.1002/fsn3.2174. eCollection 2021 Apr.
Natural fermentation of milk is a prerequisite in the production of traditional dairy products and is considered a bioresource of fermentative microorganisms and probiotics. To understand the microbial dynamics during distinct fermentative phases, the roles of different microbes, and the relationship between bacteria and fungi, microbial community dynamics was investigated by culture-dependent and culture-independent approaches. Natural, static fermentation of milk induces the formation of the underlying curds and the superficial sour cream (Zuohe in the Mongolian language). From an overall perspective, viable LAB increased remarkably. Yeast showed an initial increase in their abundance (from 0 hr to 24 hr), which was followed by a decrease, and mold was detected at the later stages of fermentation (after 68 hr). The observed trends in microbiota variation suggest an antagonistic interaction between bacteria (LAB) and fungi (yeast and mold). The beneficial bacterial and fungal genus and species (e.g., Lactococcus, Streptococcus, Leuconostoc, Dipodascus, Lactococcus lacti, Dipodascus australiensis) are gradually increased in concentration, and the potentially detrimental microbial genus and species (e.g., Acinetobacter, Pseudomonas, Fusarium, Aspergillus, Mortierella, Acinetobacter johnsonii, Fusarium solani) decrease during the decline of bacterial and fungi diversity from natural fermentation. The study of microbial community dynamics could make a great contribution to understand the mechanism of natural fermentation of milk and the formation of curds and Zuohe, and to discover the potentially fermentative microbes for industrial starter cultures.