Effect of leavening microflora on pizza dough properties

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Fourteen different starter cultures containing one strain of Saccharomyces cerevisiae with and without individual or combinations of lactic acid bacteria (Lactobacillus plantarum, Lact. sanfrancisco, Enterococcus faecium, Leuconostoc mesenteroides) were employed to investigate the role of leavening microflora on the properties of pizza doughs. Microbiological, chemical and physical characteristics of doughs prepared with the same flour and under the same processing conditions were determined. Leavening times and acidification properties depended on the microbial association used. The proportions of lactic and acetic acid produced by lactic acid bacteria consistent with the metabolic properties of the strains employed. The bacteria/yeast ratios arising from microbial counts at the end of the leavening process were always lower in comparison to sour- or bread-doughs. The size of the yeast population did not change much, while bacteria showed from one to four duplications. Rheologically, the fermented doughs could only be significantly distinguished from the control dough with regard to the elastic modulus. Principal Component Analysis was applied to the acidimetric data. The scattergram of the two principal components effectively discriminated 13 of the 14 pizza dough types.

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