Research – Occurrence of Listeria spp. in Soft Cheese and Ice Cream: Effect of Probiotic Bifidobacterium spp. on Survival of Listeria monocytogenes in Soft Cheese


Listeria monocytogenes is one of the most important emerging foodborne pathogens. The objectives of this work were to investigate the incidence of Listeria spp. and L. monocytogenes in soft cheese and ice cream in Assiut city, Egypt, and to examine the effect of some probiotic Bifidobacterium spp. (Bifidobacterium breveBifidobacterium animalis, or a mixture of the two) on the viability of L. monocytogenes in soft cheese. The existence of Listeria spp. and L. monocytogenes was examined in 30 samples of soft cheese and 30 samples of ice cream. Bacteriological analyses and molecular identification (using 16S rRNA gene and hlyA gene for Listeria spp. and L. monocytogenes, respectively) were performed on those samples. Additionally, Bifidobacterium spp. were incorporated in the making of soft cheese to study their inhibitory impacts on L. monocytogenes. Out of 60 samples of soft cheese and ice cream, 25 samples showed Listeria spp., while L. monocytogenes was found in only 2 soft cheese samples. Approximately 37% of soft cheese samples (11 out of 30) had Listeria spp. with about 18.0% (2 out of 11) exhibiting L. monocytogenes. In ice cream samples, Listeria spp. was presented by 47% (14 out of 30), while L. monocytogenes was not exhibited. Moreover, the addition of B. animalis to soft cheese in a concentration of 5% or combined with B. breve with a concentration of 2.5% for each resulted in decreasing L. monocytogenes efficiently during the ripening of soft cheese for 28 d. Listeria spp. is widely found in milk products. Probiotic bacteria, such as Bifidobacterium spp., can be utilized as a natural antimicrobial to preserve food and dairy products. View Full-Text

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