Scientific journal

55 2016

Journal of Food and Nutrition Research
Summary No. 1 / 2016

Tidona, F. – Francolino, S. – Zhang, H. – Contarini, G. – Cui, S. W. – Giraffa, G. – Carminati, D.
Design of a starter culture to produce a reduced-fat soft cheese with added bio-value
Journal of Food and Nutrition Research, 55, 2016, No. 1, s. 33-39

Flavio Tidona, Council for Agricultural Research and Economics - Fodder and Dairy Productions Research Centre (CREA-FLC), Via A. Lombardo 11, 26900 Lodi, Italy. E-mail:, tel.: +39 06 478361, fax: +39 06 47836320

Received 5 August 2015; 1st revised 13 October 2015; accepted 15 October 2015; published online 14 January 2016.

Summary: The aim of the work was to optimize the combination of two strains of Streptococcus thermophilus used as a starter culture to develop a reduced-fat soft cheese with improved texture and added bio-value. Two strains, St 907 and St 399, were selected for the ability to produce exopolysaccharides (EPS) in milk. Biochemical characterization of EPS showed that the two biopolymers were similar in monosaccharide composition (glucose, galactose, rhamnose and mannose) but different in the relative molar ratio of the monomers and in molecular weight. St 907 produced a long chain and stringy EPS with very high water holding capacity, whereas St 399 produced a smaller-sized EPS, acting as texture enhancer. The strain St 399 was also selected as a major folic acid producer. The cheese obtained had 69.3% of moisture, 18.1% of proteins and 11.5% of fat. Despite the high level of hydration, the structure of the cheese was preserved and the low fat content was successfully compensated by EPS, which gave a positive effect on mouthfeel and cheese yield. The optimized formulation of the starter culture significantly increased the content of folates by up to 67% compared to control cheeses obtained using a commercial starter culture for soft cheeses.

Keywords: reduced-fat cheese; Streptococcus thermophilus; exopolysaccharide-producing strains; folates

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