A culture (starter) is a controlled bacterial population that is added to milk or milk products to produce acid and flavorful substances that characterize cultured milk products. Cultures may be a single strain of bacteria or a combination of cultures (mixed strain). Mixed strain cultures may be used to enhance the production of specific flavors or characteristics and, therefore, must be compatible and balanced. Some cultures will be antagonistic to each other while others will act in a symbiotic relationship.

The proper production of lactic acid is critical in fermented product manufacture. Lactic acid is not only re-

Table 1. Fermented Foods and Geographical Location of Production







Europe, North America

Lactobacillus acidophilus

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