Evaluation of chemical and microbial properties of Iranian white cheese using kefir, yogurt and commercial cheese culture as a starter

Document Type: Original research


Department of Food Science and Technology, Ferdowsi University of Mashhad, P.O.Box: 91775-1163, Mashhad, Iran


In this research, the chemical and microbiological characteristics of white brined cheeses produced with five different starter cultures, namely: traditional kefir grain, commercial kefir, commercial yogurt, traditional yogurt and commercial cheese starter culture, were examined during 60-day ripening period. Results of statistical analysis showed that the type of starter culture had a significant effect on pH, acidity, fat, protein, moisture, enterobacteria, total counts, mold and yeast as well as on lactococcus (p < 0.01), and lactobacillus level (p < 0.05). pH, acidity, fat, protein, total count, mold and yeast, and lactobacillus level (p < 0.01) were significantly affected by starter culture type during ripening period. However, moisture, enterobacteria and lactococcus level in all cheese samples were not affected by ripening period. Whereas other parameters including pH, fat and protein content showed decreasing trend during ripening. Among chemical analyses, cheese produced with traditional kefir had highest pH and cheese produced using commercial kefir showed highest acidity and moisture. Among microbial parameters cheese produced with commercial kefir starter had the lowest total microbial count and after that cheese using traditional kefir starter. It is concluded that traditional kefir grain can be used as a starter culture in production of functional white brined cheese.


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