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Foodborne Pathogens Prevention and Sensory Attributes Enhancement in Processed Cheese via Flavoring with Plant Extracts

Tayel, Ahmed A., Hussein, Heba, Sorour, Noha M., El‐Tras, Wael F.
Journal of food science 2015 v.80 no.12 pp. M2886
Cymbopogon, Escherichia coli O157, Lepidium sativum, Listeria monocytogenes, Salmonella Typhimurium, Staphylococcus aureus, antibacterial properties, antibiotics, cinnamon, cloves, color, flavorings, food pathogens, food preservation, odors, oregano, plant extracts, processed cheeses, taste
Cheese contaminations with foodborne bacterial pathogens, and their health outbreaks, are serious worldwide problems that could happen from diverse sources during cheese production or storage. Plants, and their derivatives, were always regarded as the potential natural and safe antimicrobial alternatives for food preservation and improvement. The extracts from many plants, which are commonly used as spices and flavoring agents, were evaluated as antibacterial agents against serious foodborne pathogens, for example Listeria monocytogenes, Salmonella Typhimurium, Staphylococcus aureus, and Escherichia coli O157:H7, using qualitative and quantitative assaying methods. Dairy‐based media were also used for evaluating the practical application of plant extracts as antimicrobial agents. Most of the examined plant extracts exhibited remarkable antibacterial activity; the extracts of cinnamon, cloves, garden cress, and lemon grass were the most powerful, either in synthetic or in dairy‐based media. Flavoring processed cheese with plant extracts resulted in the enhancement of cheese sensory attributes, for example odor, taste, color, and overall quality, especially in flavored samples with cinnamon, lemon grass, and oregano. It can be concluded that plant extracts are strongly recommended, as powerful and safe antibacterial and flavoring agents, for the preservation and sensory enhancement of processed cheese.