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Growth Capacity of a Novel Potential Probiotic Lactobacillus paracasei K5 Strain Incorporated in Industrial White Brined Cheese as an Adjunct Culture

Terpou, Antonia, Bosnea, Loulouda, Kanellaki, Maria, Plessas, Stavros, Bekatorou, Argyro, Bezirtzoglou, Eugenia, Koutinas, Athanasios A.
Journal of food science 2018 v.83 no.3 pp. 723-731
Lactobacillus paracasei, Salmonella, Staphylococcus, biocatalysts, business enterprises, byproducts, cheese ripening, coliform bacteria, cryoprotectants, feta cheese, freeze drying, functional foods, industrial applications, kefir, markets, novel foods, physicochemical properties, prebiotics, probiotics, spoilage, storage time, viability, volatile compounds, wheat bran
In this study, a novel potential probiotic strain Lactobacillus paracasei K5, previously isolated from traditional Greek Feta cheese and kefir grains, was evaluated as an adjunct culture for industrial white brined cheese production. Targeting industrial applications, apart from free cell cultures, a novel ready‐to‐use freeze‐dried immobilized biocatalyst was prepared. The biocatalyst composed of L. paracasei K5 cells immobilized on delignified wheat bran prebiotic carrier and was freeze‐dried without cryoprotectants. The adjunct free or immobilized culture was added separately without prior adaptation during white brined cheese manufacture and the produced cheeses were compared with commercial white brined cheeses. Several parameters that affect the acceptability and quality of the cheeses, including microbial populations, physicochemical parameters, volatile by‐products and organoleptic characteristics, were analyzed through 70 days of storage. Results showed that the viability of the adjunct culture added either free or immobilized remained in high levels (7 to 8 log cfu/g) during maturation and storage. In addition, all white brined cheeses with the adjunct probiotic culture showed a sharp decrease in spoilage and pathogenic microorganisms such as enterobacteria, salmonella, staphylococci and coliforms during cheese maturation, especially when compared with the commercial white brined cheeses. Finally, after maturation time exceeded, all cheeses were characterized as safe for human consumption. Cheeses volatile compounds were significantly enhanced by the incorporated immobilized biocatalysts. These findings indicate the potential industrial use of freeze‐dried ready‐to‐use immobilized lactobacilli as reinforcement adjunct cultures for the production of good‐quality functional cheese products. PRACTICAL APPLICATION: The launch on market of novel foods developed by the incorporation of functional ingredients provides potential benefits to consumers’ diet and new business opportunities for producers. Probiotic food products are one significant category of functional foods. Thus, this study focused on the development of a novel ready‐to‐use freeze‐dried potential probiotic biocatalyst for functional white brined cheese production. The potential industrial application of such biocatalysts is highlighted by their incorporation as adjunct cultures that resulted in good‐quality functional cheeses.