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Production Of Probiotic Mozzarella Cheese By Incorporating Locally Isolated Lactobacillus Acidophilus

Hamid Mukhtar, Saima Yaqub, Ikram ul Haq

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Abstract Purpose The present study was conducted to isolate and screen the potential probiotic strains for incorporation in Mozzarella cheese. Methods Probiotic cultures were isolated from different randomly purchased yogurt samples and were identified as Lactobacillus sp., Bifidobacteria sp., and Pediococcus sp. after morphological and biochemical characterization. Heat tolerance of isolates was tested at 55 °C and 65 °C to determine the survival of isolates in conditions similar to commercial cheese production. Lactobacillus acidophilus (S2) showed remarkable heat tolerance among all strains and was therefore selected to assess the probiotic potential. It showed good survival at acidic pH values (2–3). Moreover, it also showed > 50% tolerance to bile salt and was resistant to antibiotics, chloramphenicol, tetracycline, gentamycin, and vancomycin and also exhibited anti-microbial activity against Salmonella typhimurium, Escherichia coli, and Staphylococcus aureus. Thus, heat-tolerant Lactobacillus acidophilus (S2) isolate was an ideal strain for incorporation in Mozzarella cheese as probiotics. Three types of cheeses viz., cheese A with free cells of Lactobacillus acidophilus (S2), cheese B with encapsulated cells of Lactobacillus acidophilus (S2), and control cheese having no probiotics, were made. Result Microbiological analysis of prepared cheese revealed lesser loss of Lactobacillus acidophilus (S2) from encapsulated form (3.41 × 108 CFU/mL) compared to free cells of Lactobacillus acidophilus (S2) (1.10 × 107 CFU/mL). Coliforms were observed in control cheese after 10 days of storage, whereas no coliforms were observed in cheese A and cheese B even after 15 days of storage. Organoleptic properties of cheese A and cheese B were almost the same with an acceptability score of 2.7 ± 0.1 and 2.65 ± 0.1, respectively. Control cheese got the lowest scores after 15 days of storage. Conclusion The addition of probiotics in cheese not only prolongs the shelf-life of cheese but also increases the organoleptic properties of the cheese, making cheese a good delivery system for probiotics.