Effect of Preservative and Storage Condition on Microorganisms in Nigerian Unripened Cheese (Wara)
Nigerian unripened cheese is a highly perishable food. This study investigated the preservative effect of ginger and sorbic acid on the quality of unripened cheese. The cheese sample was produced and treated with 5 % ginger, 2.5 % ginger plus 0.05 % sorbic acid and 0.1 % sorbic acid and kept at ambient and refrigeration temperatures. Microorganisms were enumerated and the microorganisms were identified using standard methods. Sensory assessment was also carried out on the samples. The results showed that microbial load was generally lower in samples stored at refrigeration temperature than those at ambient temperature. Lactobacillus delbrueckii, Lactobacillus acidophilus, Leuconostoc mesenteroides, Streptococcus thermophilus, Bacillus pumilus, Saccharomyces cerevisiae, Saccharomyces lactis, Torulopsis versatalis, Aspergillus spp and Penicilllum spp were isolated during storage. A sample with 0.1% sorbic acid had the highest score for its taste, colour, texture, aroma and overall acceptability. The addition of ginger powder to the cheese had a negative influence on the sensory properties. The findings therefore recommend the use of 2.5% ginger with 0.05% sorbic acid in the preservation of unripened cheese.
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