Lysozyme: What this Natural Cheese Preservative is and what it’s for

What is lysozyme and where is it found?

Lysozyme is a natural enzyme which prevents the growth of clostridia. It naturally occurs in human tears, saliva, mucus and breastmilk. Although lysozyme is virtually absent in cows’ milk, it occurs in large quantities in the white of hens’ eggs and is extracted for its qualities by the food industry, especially the dairy sector.

What it is used for and which cheeses benefit most?

Lysozyme is used to produce a variety of hard and semi-hard cheeses with an ageing time that lasts over two months (the most famous one is Grana Padano).

Its main purpose is to stop the proliferation of clostridia and provide cheese with natural protection against late blowing; indeed, when clostridia does develop (especially Clostridium tyrobutyricum and Clostridium sporogenes), it can badly spoil some hard and semi-hard cheeses with lengthy ageing processes, even after only three weeks in the maturing chamber. Clostridium spores germinate while cheese is ripening, generating butyric acid which in turn creates an unappealing taste and unpleasant smell as well as large amounts of gas which causes slits, cracks and large irregular eyes.

The lysozyme acts by attacking the peptidoglycans in the cellular walls of the gram-positive bacteria (while the gram-negative bacteria are less prone to attack due to their complex cellular wall). So, you only need to add about 20 milligrams of product per litre of milk to stop the clostridia from developing in the cheese while leaving intact all the good bacteria and creating the conditions for a flavoursome best-seller.

Another important technique consists in speeding up the cheese ageing process of the cheese by initiating starter-culture lysis which triggers the release of cytoplasmic enzymes that play a key role in the proteolytic process.

Clerici lysozyme: protect your cheeses naturally!

Clerici lysozyme is a natural preservative which meets all prevailing quality standards. Effective on various types of mature cheeses, Clerici lysozyme is available both in a liquid form which is 22% active, and in powder form which is guaranteed to be 95% active at the least. With Kosher and Halal certification, it is available in a 1kg and 5kg version.

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