Mozzarella cheese is a classic Italian cheese that has become popular all over the world. This cheese is known for its stringy texture and mild, creamy flavor that makes it a favorite on pizzas, salads, and sandwiches.

But have you ever wondered what type of culture is used to make this delectable cheese? In this article, we will explore the culture used to make mozzarella cheese in detail.

What is Cheese Culture?

Before we delve into the specific culture used to make mozzarella cheese, let’s first understand what cheese culture is. Cheese culture refers to the microorganisms that are added to milk to start the fermentation process that ultimately leads to the formation of cheese.

Cheese cultures can be made up of various types of bacteria and fungi, each with its own unique set of characteristics. These microorganisms consume lactose in milk and produce lactic acid as a byproduct, which helps in coagulating milk proteins.

The Culture Used for Mozzarella Cheese

The specific culture used for making mozzarella cheese is called Lactobacillus delbrueckii subsp. bulgaricus and Streptococcus thermophilus. These two bacterial strains work together to produce lactic acid and lower the pH of the milk.

Lactobacillus delbrueckii subsp. bulgaricus is responsible for producing lactic acid and breaking down lactose into glucose and galactose. This bacterium also contributes to the flavor development of mozzarella cheese by producing diacetyl, a compound that gives buttery notes.

Streptococcus thermophilus works alongside Lactobacillus delbrueckii subsp. bulgaricus to lower the pH of milk during fermentation. This bacterium also helps in developing flavor by producing compounds such as acetaldehyde, which gives fruity notes.

The Importance of Culture in Mozzarella Cheese Making

The culture used in making mozzarella cheese is crucial to the final product’s flavor, texture, and aroma. The specific strains of bacteria used for mozzarella cheese contribute to the development of unique flavor notes that make this cheese so distinctive.

In addition, the culture also plays a vital role in determining the texture and stretchiness of mozzarella cheese. The bacteria produce lactic acid, which helps coagulate milk proteins into curds that are then stretched and formed into mozzarella cheese.


Mozzarella cheese is a beloved cheese that owes its unique flavor and texture to the specific culture used during its production. Lactobacillus delbrueckii subsp. bulgaricus and Streptococcus thermophilus work together to produce lactic acid, lower the pH, and develop flavor notes that make mozzarella cheese such a delight to eat.

Understanding the importance of culture in mozzarella cheese making can help us appreciate this delicious cheese even more. So next time you bite into a slice of pizza or enjoy a caprese salad, take a moment to savor the complex flavors and textures that are made possible by these tiny microorganisms.