The influence of calf (R1), kid (R2) and pig (R3) rennets on microbiota, biogenic amines (BAs) and γ
-aminobutyric acid (GABA) accumulation in raw milk ewe’s cheeses was evaluated. Cheeses were investigated at different ripening times for their microbial composition, free amino acids (FAAs), BAs and GABA content. Moreover, the expression of tyrosine (tdc
) and histidine (hdc
) decarboxylases genes was evaluated by quantitative Real Time–Polymerase Chain Reaction (qRT-PCR). Microbial counts showed similar values in all samples. Pig rennet were cheeses were characterized by higher proteolysis and the highest values of BAs. The BAs detected were putrescine, cadaverine and tyramine, while histamine was absent. qRT-PCR confirmed this data, in fact hdc
gene was not upregulated, while tdc
gene expression increased over time in agreement with the increasing content of tyramine and the highest fold changes were detected in R3 cheeses. GABA showed the highest concentration in R2 cheeses reaching a value of 672 mg/kg. These results showed that the accumulation of BAs and GABA in Pecorino di Farindola is influenced by ripening time and type of coagulant. Further studies are required to develop starter cultures to reduce BAs content and improve health characteristics of raw milk ewe’s cheeses.
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