Research – Effect of Probiotic Lactic Acid Bacteria (LAB) on the Quality and Safety of Greek Yogurt

MDPI

Abstract

Greek yogurt is a strained yogurt with a high protein content that brings nutritional benefits. To enhance the functional benefits of Greek yogurt, Greek yogurt was prepared with various combinations of probiotic lactic acid bacteria (LAB) (Streptococcus thermophilusLactobacillus bulgaricusLactobacillus gasseri BNR17, and Lactobacillus plantarum HY7714). Effects of probiotic LAB on quality, sensory, and microbiological characteristics of Greek yogurt were then compared. Among samples, Greek yogurt fermented by S. thermophilus and L. bulgaricus showed the highest changes of pH and titratable acidity during 21 d of storage at 4 °C. Greek yogurt fermented with L. plantarum HY7714 had a higher viscosity than other samples. Greek yogurt fermented with S. thermophilusL. bulgaricusL. gasseri BNR17, and L. plantarum HY7714 showed superior physicochemical properties and received the highest preference score from sensory evaluation among samples. Overall, the population of enterohaemorrhagic Escherichia coli (EHEC) was more effectively reduced in Greek yogurt fermented with probiotic LAB than in commercial Greek yogurt during storage at 4, 10, and 25 °C. Thus, the addition of L. gasseri BNR17 and L. plantarum HY7714 as starter cultures could enhance the microbial safety of Greek yogurt and sensory acceptance by consumers.

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