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Journal of Dairy Science
Volume 105 (3), 2022, Pages 2058-2068

Microbial and chemical composition of Cheddar cheese supplemented with prebiotics from pasteurized milk to aging

Melanie Hanlon, Jungmin Choi, Lisbeth Goddik, Si Hong Park

Department of Food Science and Technology, Oregon State University, Corvallis 97331.


Microbial and chemical properties of cheese is crucial in the dairy industry to understand their effects on cheese quality. Microorganisms within this fat, protein, and water matrix are largely responsible for physiochemical characteristics and associated quality. Prebiotics can be used as an energy source for lactic acid bacteria in cheese by altering the microbial community and provide the potential for value-added foods, with a more stable probiotic population. This research focuses on the addition of fructooligosaccharides (FOS) or inulin to the Cheddar cheese-making process to evaluate the effects on microbial and physicochemical composition changes. Laboratory-scale Cheddar cheese produced in 2 replicates was supplemented with 0 (control), 0.5, 1.0, and 2.0% (wt/wt) of FOS or inulin using 18 L of commercially pasteurized milk. A total of 210 samples (15 samples per replicate of each treatment) were collected from cheese-making procedure and aging period. Analysis for each sample were performed for quantitative analysis of chemical and microbial composition. The prevalence of lactic acid bacteria (log cfu/g) in Cheddar cheese supplemented with FOS (6.34 ± 0.11 and 8.99 ± 0.46; ± standard deviation) or inulin (6.02 ± 0.79 and 9.08 ± 1.00) was significantly higher than the control (5.84 ± 0.27 and 8.48 ± 0.06) in whey and curd, respectively. Fructooligosaccharides supplemented cheeses showed similar chemical properties to the control cheese, whereas inulin-supplemented cheeses exhibited a significantly higher moisture content than FOS and the control groups. Streptococcus and Lactococcus were predominant in all cheeses and 2% inulin and 2% FOS-supplemented cheeses possessed significant amounts of nonstarter lactic acid bacteria found to be an unidentified group of Lactobacillaceae, which emerged after 90 d of aging. In conclusion, this study demonstrates that prebiotic supplementation of Cheddar cheese results in differing microbial and chemical characteristics.

Keywords: prebiotics, Cheddar cheese, microbiome, chemical composition.

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