Aims: The aim of the present study was to evaluate the use of a freeze-dried kefir culture in the production of a novel type of whey-cheese similar to traditional Greek Myzithra-cheese, to achieve improvement of the quality characteristics of the final product and the extension of shelf-life. Methods and Results: The use of kefir culture as a starter led to increased lactic acid concentrations and decreased pH values in the final product compared with whey-cheese without starter culture. The effect of the starter culture on production of aroma-related compounds responsible for cheese flavour was also studied using the solid phase microextraction gas chromatography/mass spectrometry technique. Spoilage in unsalted kefir-whey-cheese was observed on the thirteenth and the twentieth day of preservation at 10 and 5 degrees C, respectively, while the corresponding times for unsalted whey-cheese preservation were 11 and 14 days. Conclusions: The cheeses produced were characterized as high-quality products during the preliminary sensory evaluation. An indication of increased preservation time was attributed to the freeze-dried kefir culture, which also seemed to suppress growth of pathogens. Significance and Impact of the Study: The results suggested the use of kefir culture as a means to extend the shelf-life of dairy products with reduced or no salt content.
Dimitrellou, D., Kourkoutas, Y., Banat, I., Marchant, R., & Koutinas, A. A. (2007). Whey-cheese production using freeze-dried kefir culture as a starter. Journal of Applied Microbiology, 103(4), 1170-1183. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2672.2007.03337.x