Starter cultures are those microorganisms that are used in the production of cultured dairy products such as yogurt and cheese. A starter culture can provide particular characteristics in a more controlled and predictable fermentation. These starters usually consist of a cultivation medium, such as grains, seeds, or nutrient liquids that have been well colonized by the microorganisms used for the fermentation. Most starters in use to today have originated from lactic acid bacteria. The primary function of lactic starters is the production of lactic acid from lactose. Other functions of starter cultures may include flavour, aroma, and alcohol production. These days modern starter cultures have been developed from the practice of retaining small quantities of whey or cream from the successful manufacture of a fermented product on a previous day and using this as the inoculum or starter for the preceding day’s production.
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