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In this work, the suitability of Ricotta cheese as a food carrier for functional ingredients was evaluated. The probiotic strain Lactobacillus paracasei subsp. paracasei F19, inoculated at a concentration of 109 cfu/serving size, maintained high counts during the cold storage of Ricotta cheese (7 days at 5°C), without altering the nutritional and sensorial properties of Ricotta samples. Similarly, the addition of 3 % inulin did not significantly change the sensory profile of the cheese, whereas the addition of chestnut flour lowered the perceived sensory characteristics. The synbiotic formulation (with 3 % inulin and 109 cfu/serving size of Lb. paracasei subsp. paracasei F19) altered the Ricotta sensorial characteristics, mainly for an excessive acidification.
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Agro FOOD Industry Hi Tech - vol 24(6) - November/December 2013
Production of functional
Ricotta Cheese
*Corresponding author
DiAAA, Università degli Studi del Molise, Via de Sanctis snc, 86100 Campobasso, Italy
Functional foods contain one or more components, such as
probiotics and prebiotics, which present the potential to
promote the health of the consumer through mechanisms
not foreseen in conventional nutrition. Probiotics are defined
as viable microorganisms that, when consumed in adequate
amounts (106 to 109 viable cells per day), are beneficial to
the host (1-3). Among their features, probiotic
microorganisms must be normal inhabitants of the human
intestinal tract, must survive passage through the upper
digestive tract in large numbers, and have beneficial effects
when in the intestine. Lactic acid bacteria (LAB) fulfil a
number of the outlined criteria for the selection of probiotic
strains, including the human intestinal origin, the ability to
tolerate acid and bile salts, the low presence of mobilisable
antibiotic resistances, as well as the adaptability to
technological processes for cheese manufacture (4, 5). It
was also shown that strains of Lb. paracasei subsp. paracasei
are able to grow in the presence of different prebiotics (6-8),
defined as non-digestible food ingredients that beneficially
affect the host by selectively stimulating the growth and/or
the activity of one or a limited number of bacteria in the
colon (9). However, a previous investigation highlighted that
the ability of probiotic LAB to use different prebiotics is a
strain-specific character (10). Different types of
carbohydrates can be classified as prebiotics, including
inulin-type fructans, trans-galactooligosaccharides, and
lactulose (9). One of the most frequently used prebiotic is
inulin, a non-digestible fructan which offers an interesting
combination of nutritional properties and technological
benefits (11, 12). This prebiotic is a natural non-digestible
storage polysaccharide consisting of a chain of fructose
molecules with a terminal glucose molecule. It is found in
many vegetable products, amongst which chicory roots are
considered most suitable for industrial applications. Inulin has
the capacity to be a fat substitute, bulking agent, low-
calorie sweetener, and texture modifier (13).
Recent studies showed the possibility to use chestnut based
products as a good substrate for the growth of LAB (14). The
interest in chestnut fruits is due to several functional features,
including their gluten free nature, their low fat content, and
the presence of some phenolic acids (e.g. gallic and ellagic
acid) having antioxidant effects and anti-inflammatory
properties (15). Moreover, chestnuts are mainly composed
by starch (amylose 33 % and amylopectin 67 %), which
provides positive health effects on gut functions thanks to
the bacterial catabolism on amylopectin-derived dextrins
into short-chain fatty acids (15).
The dairy sector is the largest functional food market
accounting for nearly 33 % of the broad market (16).
Different functional dairy products are currently proposed,
such as cheeses (17, 18), yogurts, and other fermented and
probiotic milks (19-24), yog-ice creams and ice cream (25,
26), starch-based dairy desserts (27), sour cream, and butter
cream (28). The success of dairy functional foods can be
explained by the general positive image received by
consumers, linked to the perception of wellness (functional
components able to improve wellbeing), health (chemical
and additive free nature of products), and freshness
(products kept at refrigeration temperatures and
characterized by a relatively short shelf life). Considering
the increase in demand for new functional foods, in this
study we evaluated the possibility to use Ricotta cheese, a
traditional Italian whey protein cheese, as delivery vehicle
for probiotics and prebiotics. Ricotta cheese is an
unripened, creamy dairy product obtained by heat
induced coagulation of whey protein, made mainly from
sheep or goat milk, but also from cow and buffalo milk (29).
In particular, Ricotta can be made only from whey, or from
mixtures of whey and milk (30).
In the light of previous considerations, the aim of this study
was to assess the effect of the addition of a probiotic Lb.
paracasei subsp. paracasei strain and of two different
prebiotics, i.e. inulin and chestnut flour, into Ricotta cheese.
The survival of the probiotic strain as well as the sensory,
chemical and physical characteristics of the Ricotta cheese
were evaluated during the storage at refrigeration
Functional ingredients for Ricotta cheese-making
The probiotic strain Lactobacillus paracasei subsp. paracasei
F19 was isolated by a pharmaceutical formulation (SIFFRA,
Florence, Italy). The strain, revitalised in MRS agar (Oxoid,
Unipath, Basingstoke, UK) at 37°C, was then preserved in the
same medium at 4°C until its use. The inulin (Fibruline) was
obtained from Cosucra s.a. (Fontenoy, Belgium).
Dairy Ingredients
KEYWORDS: Ricotta, whey cheese, prebiotic, probiotic, synbiotic
ABSTRACT: In this work, the suitability of Ricotta cheese as a food carrier for functional ingredients was evaluated. The
probiotic strain Lactobacillus paracasei subsp. paracasei F19, inoculated at a concentration of 109 cfu/serving size,
maintained high counts during the cold storage of Ricotta cheese (7 days at 5°C), without altering the nutritional and
sensorial properties of Ricotta samples. Similarly, the addition of 3 % inulin did not significantly change the sensory profile of
the cheese, whereas the addition of chestnut flour lowered the perceived sensory characteristics. The synbiotic formulation
(with 3 % inulin and 109 cfu/serving size of Lb. paracasei subsp. paracasei F19) altered the Ricotta sensorial characteristics,
mainly for an excessive acidification.
Agro FOOD Industry Hi Tech - vol 24(6) - November/December 2013
Dairy Ingredients
of each Ricotta sample was aseptically transferred into a
sterile stomacher bag, diluted with 90 mL of sterile
physiological solution (NaCl 9 g·L–1) and homogenised for 1
min in a Lab-blender 400 Stomacher (Seward Laboratory,
London, UK). One mL of the first dilution was used to obtain
tenfold serial dilutions, utilised for microbial counts, detailed
as follows:
-Lactic acid bacteria (LAB) were counted on MRS agar
(Oxoid) after 48 h of incubation at 37°C;
-Enterobacteriaceae were enumerated on VRBGA
(Oxoid) after 36 h of incubation at 37°C;
-Total and faecal coliforms were differentiated on VRBA
(Oxoid) after 36 h of incubation at 37°C and 44°C,
-Yeasts and moulds were detected on YPD (36) after
72 h of incubation at 25°C;
-Total bacteria were counted on PCA (Oxoid) after
48 h at 28°C.
Sensory assessment was conducted by a semi-trained panel
composed by 10 judges. Five terms were used: colour, taste
pleasantness, consistence, odour pleasantness, and
homogeneity, with a scale from 1 (poor) to 5 (excellent).
Shelf-life test
Each batch of Ricotta cheese consisted of 9 samples.
After 0, 2 and 7 days of preservation at 5±1°C, the
analyses described above were performed. Moisture, fat,
protein, carbohydrates, ash and fibre were determined
only at the beginning of the storage, whereas sensory
assessment was conducted at 0 and 7 days. Analyses
were performed in triplicate.
Statistical analysis
The analysis of variance (ANOVA) was applied to the data.
The least significant differences were obtained using an LSD
test (P<0.05). Statistical analysis was performed using an SPSS
version 13.0 for Windows (SPSS Inc., Chicago, IL, USA).
Ricotta samples were characterised to assess the most
common quality indexes. For all samples, no significant
variation of composition during storage was evidenced
(data not shown). As shown in Table 1, the composition of
Ricotta cheese added with Lb. paracasei subsp. paracasei
F19 (RLB) was similar to that of the control (RC).
In samples enriched with inulin and chestnut flour (RI, RCF,
RI+LB and RCF+LB), the presence of fibre was evidenced,
whereas all the other components showed lower values in
comparison with those of the control (RC). Only the
glucidic fraction was higher in samples enriched with
chestnut flour (RCF and RCF+LB) (Table 1). In order to
observe fermentative activities on natural (lactose) or
added (starch and inulin) carbohydrates, the content of
The polymer, extracted from chicory roots, had a degree of
polymerization from 2 to 50 and an average degree of
polymerization of 9. The chestnut flour was obtained by
milling white chestnut (Perrotta, Montella, Italy).
Production of functional Ricotta cheese
Three Ricotta cheese-making trials for each experimental
group were conducted on laboratory scale. All the
operations guaranteed the sterility and hygiene of the
product. The whey, collected after the production of pasta
lata cheese from cow milk (Barone farm Vinchiaturo CB,
Italy), was mixed with 10 % milk (v/v) previously heated
to 45°C. Salt was then added to 0.1 % (w/v), and heating
was carried out up to 80-85°C. At this stage a solution of
citric acid (0.11 g·L–1) was added and a gentle stirring was
provided. Following coagulation, the Ricotta cheese was
left to stay for 20 min, picked up and homogenised for 1 min
(Bimby Vorwerk). During homogenisation, prebiotics and/
or probiotics were added. In detail, inulin or chestnut our
were added to achieve 3 g·per serving size (about 100 g).
The probiotic culture of Lb. paracasei subsp. paracasei
F19 was added to reach approximately 109 cfu 100 g–1.
To prepare the microbial culture, cells were overnight
revitalised in MRS broth (Oxoid) at 37°C, harvested by
centrifugation (5000 rpm for 10 min), washed twice in a
solution of 0.9 g·L–1 NaCl and re-suspended in 10 mL of
sterile skimmed milk (Oxoid) at 37°C.
Ricotta samples were then aseptically packaged in sterilised
glass jars with a cap and then cooled to 5±1°C for 7 days
(Figure 1).
The description of Ricotta samples is summarised into this
- RC: Ricotta cheese without the addition of functional
ingredients and used as control;
- RI: Ricotta cheese added with 3 g 100 g–1 of inulin;
- RLB: Ricotta cheese added with 109 cfu 100 g–1 of Lb.
paracasei subsp. paracasei F19;
- RI+LB: Ricotta cheese added with 3 g 100 g–1 of inulin
and 109 cfu 100 g–1 of Lb. paracasei subsp. paracasei
- RCF: Ricotta cheese added with 3 g 100 g–1 of chestnut
- RCF+LB: Ricotta cheese added with 3 g 100 g–1 of
chestnut flour and 109 cfu 100 g–1 of Lb. paracasei
subsp. paracasei F19.
Ricotta cheese analyses
Moisture, fat, protein, and ash were determined following
Official procedures (31). Dietary fiber was quantified by the
enzymatic gravimetric procedure (32). Carbohydrates were
determined by difference. Lactose (33), L-lactic acid (34)
and fructans (35) were determined by using enzymatic kits
(Megazyme International, Ireland), following the
manufacturer’s instructions. For microbiological analyses,10g
Figure 1. Flow sheet of Ricotta cheese processing.
Different letters within the same row indicate significant differences
RC: Ricotta cheese, RI: Ricotta cheese + inulin, RCF: Ricotta cheese
+ chestnut flour; RLB: Ricotta cheese + Lb paracasei ; RI+LB: Ricotta
cheese + inulin and Lb paracasei; RCF+LB: Ricotta cheese +
chestnut flour and Lb paracasei.
Table 1. Composition of Ricotta cheeses at 0 days (values reported
in g 100g-1).
Agro FOOD Industry Hi Tech - vol 24(6) - November/December 2013
Dairy Ingredients
L-lactic acid, lactose and fructans during the storage was
determined in all samples (Table 2).
After 2 days of storage no significant differences were
observed for fermentative activities (data not shown). At 7
days of storage the content in L-lactic acid increased only
in Ricotta samples added with Lb. paracasei subsp.
paracasei F19 (RLB, RI+LB and RCF+LB). The highest
increase in L-lactic acid was noted in RI+LB, underlining the
suitability of free inulin as a substrate for the growth of the
probiotic bacterium used in this research. In fact, in the
samples from the batch RI+LB the content of fructans
(inulin) decreased from 1.93 g 100 g–1 to 1.56 g 100 g–1,
confirming the use of free inulin by the added
microorganism. Moreover, this datum confirms previous
results, which evidenced not only the ability of Lb.
paracasei subsp. paracasei F19 to grow in presence of
inulin, but also the preference of this prebiotic in respect to
other more easily assimilable carbohydrates, such as
lactose (10). On the other hand, during the storage period
lactose decreased significantly (c.a. 10 %) only in the
synbiotic sample RCF+LB, whereas the percentage of
fructans resulted unchanged. Interestingly, the energy
produced by the fermentative activity on carbohydrates,
with the consequent production of lactic acid, was used
by Lb. paracasei subsp. paracasei F19 for the response to
stress conditions, such as low temperature and high solute
concentration (37). In fact, in the experimental probiotic
(RLB) and synbiotic (RI+LB and RCF+LB) samples, the load
of Lb. paracasei subsp. paracasei F19, inoculated at 109
cfu/serving size (100 g), remained constant during the
entire storage period (Figure 2).
LAB resulted undetectable in Ricotta cheese used as
control (Figure 2), and undesirable microorganisms
(Enterobacteriaceae, total and faecal coliforms, and
Eumycetes) were undetectable in all the samples (data
not shown).
The high survival of the probiotic strain during the cold
storage represents an interesting result, since the beneficial
effects of probiotics is strictly related to the daily size of
viable cells ingested (38). Taking into account that dairy
probiotic products must provide not only the minimum
number of cells to confer health effects, but also sensory
acceptance by consumers, sensory attributes of the
functional Ricotta cheese at 0 and 7 days of storage were
investigated (Figure 3).
At the beginning of the storage (Figure 3a), Ricotta cheese
produced with Lb. paracasei subsp. paracasei (RLB) and
with inulin (RI and RI+LB) was particularly appreciated by
judges for all the assayed descriptors, as highlighted by
scores similar to those of the control (RC). On the contrary,
the addition of chestnut flour lowered the perceived
sensorial profile of Ricotta cheese for colour, taste
pleasantness, consistence and homogeneity. After 7 days
of storage (Figure 3b), the sensory profile of Ricotta cheese
resulted substantially unchanged, except for a
considerable decrease (P<0.05) for taste pleasantness in
batch RI+LB due to an excessive acidification, as previously
highlighted by chemical analyses (Table 2).
Nutritional benefits associated with the intake of probiotic
microorganisms, soluble dietary fibres or both, could bring
attractive new products to fulfil market niches. The probiotic
strain Lb. paracasei subsp. paracasei F19 showed a high
survival during the cold storage of Ricotta cheese,
maintaining counts over 109 cfu/serving size, without altering
the nutritional and sensorial properties of Ricotta samples.
Therefore, with a standard Ricotta dietary intake (about 100
g), it is possible to obtain a temporary intestinal colonization
by this probiotic. Also, the consumption of 100 g of Ricotta
cheese added with 3 % inulin allows the coverage of 50 %
Figure 2. Counts of lactic acid bacteria in control (RC), probiotic
(RLB) and synbiotic (RI+LB; RCF+LB) Ricotta samples stored at 5°C
for 7 days.
RC: Ricotta cheese, RI: Ricotta cheese + inulin, RCF: Ricotta cheese
+ chestnut flour; RLB: Ricotta cheese + Lb paracasei ; RI+LB: Ricotta
cheese + inulin and Lb paracasei; RCF+LB: Ricotta cheese +
chestnut flour and Lb paracasei.
Figure 3. Sensory profile of the Ricotta samples at 0 (a) and 7 (b)
days of storage (colour and taste have a scale from1 to 5,
consistence from 1 to 4, flavour, and homogeneity from 1 to 3.)
Different letters and numbers within the same column indicate
significant differences (P<0.05).
RC: Ricotta cheese, RI: Ricotta cheese + inulin, RCF: Ricotta cheese
+ chestnut flour; RLB: Ricotta cheese + Lb paracasei ; RI+LB: Ricotta
cheese + inulin and Lb paracasei; RCF+LB: Ricotta cheese +
chestnut flour and Lb paracasei.
Table 2. Evolution of L-lactic acid, lactose and fructans in Ricotta
samples during storage (values reported in g 100g-1).
fibre intake (about 5 g/die), the daily amount indicated to
obtain beneficial effects on the gut. On the other hand, the
synbiotic formulation with inulin and Lb. paracasei subsp.
paracasei F19, as well as that produced with the addition of
chestnut flour, significantly altered the Ricotta sensorial
characteristics. However, it should be stressed that all the
functional products proposed herein can be a basis for the
creation of desserts with Ricotta, whose sensorial
characteristics can be improved and possibly enhanced by
the addition of other ingredients, such as cocoa, coffee,
and fruit syrups.
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... In addition, these flours enable the development of synbiotic products if added together with probiotic micro-organisms. Because of these properties, potentially prebiotic flours have been used in the production of various dairy products, such as milk beverages, yoghurts, fermented milks, cheeses and kefir (Guergoletto et al. 2010;Zare et al. 2011Zare et al. , 2012Jenie and Saputra 2013;Niro et al. 2013;Boudjou et al. 2014;Oliveira et al. 2015). ...
... The addition of buckwheat and flour oat bran improved L. rhamnosus, and L. paracasei counts when compared to the control (P < 0.05). Niro et al. (2013) evaluated the prebiotic effect of chestnut flour on the growth of L. paracasei added to functional ricotta cheese formulated with 3% chestnut flour. After 7 days at 5°C, the authors reported that addition of the flour did not affect the growth of the probiotic bacteria and the count remained constant (10 9 cfu/100 g) throughout the storage period. ...
... In addition, these flours enable the development of synbiotic products if added together with probiotic micro-organisms. Because of these properties, potentially prebiotic flours have been used in the production of various dairy products, such as milk beverages, yoghurts, fermented milks, cheeses and kefir (Guergoletto et al. 2010;Zare et al. 2011Zare et al. , 2012Jenie and Saputra 2013;Niro et al. 2013;Boudjou et al. 2014;Oliveira et al. 2015). ...
... The addition of buckwheat and flour oat bran improved L. rhamnosus, and L. paracasei counts when compared to the control (P < 0.05). Niro et al. (2013) evaluated the prebiotic effect of chestnut flour on the growth of L. paracasei added to functional ricotta cheese formulated with 3% chestnut flour. After 7 days at 5°C, the authors reported that addition of the flour did not affect the growth of the probiotic bacteria and the count remained constant (10 9 cfu/100 g) throughout the storage period. ...
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... Cottage cheeses (such as Ricotta) can offer many advantages over other foods in terms of delivering viable probiotics, [165] due to its basic pH, fat content and mechanical consistency, combined with a typically low oxygen level. Furthermore, it is less demanding technology, its non-matured nature (and faster production), the obligatory storage at refrigeration temperatures, and the generally short shelf-life, contribute to making cottage cheeses, particularly suitable probiotics carriers. ...
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... As for the microbial loads registered on MRS agar plates, counts complied with label indications for batches GG and DSM, whereas counts resulted about 1 log lower than those reported on the labels for batches F19 and DG, in agreement with our previous results (Succi et al., 2014). In all cases, high numbers of viable bacteria (between 8 and 9 log per serving dose) were ascertained, in the range generally accepted for probiotic efficacy (Di Criscio et al., 2010;Hill et al., 2014;Niro et al., 2013). ...
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Conference Paper
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Il Pecorino Romano DOP deve essere prodotto, secondo disciplinare di produzione, “con colture di fermenti lattici naturali ed autoctone, talora integrate con ceppi provenienti dall’area di produzione”. Il miglioramento delle condizioni igieniche di produzione di latte e formaggio, dettato dalle normative comunitarie in materia di igiene, ha causato una riduzione della microflora utile, proveniente dall’ambiente, necessaria per garantire una corretta acidificazione ed inibire lo sviluppo di batteri indesiderati, rendendo sempre più difficile l’ottenimento del tradizionale innesto naturale (scotta-innesto). Scopo del presente lavoro è quello di mettere a disposizione dei caseifici, uno scotta-innesto naturale, biodiverso, fortemente legato al territorio e in linea con il disciplinare di produzione, per la fabbricazione di Pecorino Romano DOP. La collezione microbica di Agris annovera, accanto ad oltre 10000 isolati, 80 colture naturali in scotta, raccolte presso nove caseifici sardi produttori di Pecorino Romano DOP, conservate in forma liofilizzata tra il 1968 e il 1970. Sei di queste sono state riattivate nel 2012 e la loro concentrazione in cellule vitali è stata valutata seminandole in otto terreni di coltura. Quattro colture (SR30, SR56, SR63 e SR74) si sono dimostrate attive e capaci di coagulare il latte, raggiungendo una concentrazione in cellule vitali intorno a 108 UFC/ml. Lo studio delle attitudini tecnologiche delle colture è stato articolato in 2 fasi: 1) prove in laboratorio (curve di crescita, di acidificazione, tempo per raggiungere pH 5,2, in scotta e latte ovino sterili, test di fermentazione del citrato e produzione di CO2 da glucosio); 2) prove di caseificazione in un caseificio industriale. La coltura SR30 è risultata di composizione esclusivamente coccica (streptococchi ed enterococchi), mentre nelle altre erano presenti prevalentemente bacilli termofili. L’unica scotta in cui si è evidenziata la presenza di un rilevante numero di citrato-fermentanti in grado di produrre CO2, quindi, potenzialmente, gonfiore nel formaggio, è risultata la SR74. Pertanto si è deciso di escluderla momentaneamente dalla sperimentazione. Considerato che gli scotta-innesti storicamente utilizzati per la produzione di Pecorino Romano sono composti sia da cocchi che da bacilli, si è scelto di costituire, per sfruttare la loro azione sinergica, 2 colture mix (A: SR30+SR56 - B: SR30+SR63) con un rapporto cocchi:bacilli 1:1. Tali mix sono stati utilizzati per eseguire dodici caseificazioni presso un caseificio industriale. Per ogni caseificazione sono stati trasformati 1.200 litri di latte, inoculati con 106 UFC/ml di starter. Sono stati rilevati i principali parametri tecnologici e prelevati campioni di latte, scotta-innesto, caglio, formaggio a 24h, 1, 3, 5 e 8 mesi dalla fabbricazione, per le analisi microbiologiche. La cinetica di acidificazione si è dimostrata soddisfacente, dal punto di vista tecnologico, per entrambi i mix: la cagliata ha raggiunto valori di pH prossimi a 5,2 tra le 4 e le 6 h (pH a 24h tra 4,93 e 5,00). La microflora degli innesti è stata inoltre identificata tramite PCR specie-specifica, GTG5 Rep-PCR o sequenziamento, evidenziando, tra 115 isolati, la prevalenza di Streptococcus thermophilus (SR30) e di Lactobacillus delbrueckii subsp. lactis (SR56 e SR63), sempre accanto a enterococchi e, talvolta, a lattobacilli mesofili. Studio in collaborazione con il Consorzio per la Tutela del formaggio Pecorino Romano DOP, nell’ambito del Programma di “Interventi straordinari di ricerca e sviluppo a favore delle aziende agricole e delle imprese di trasformazione e commercializzazione”. Delibera Giunta Regionale n. 46/34 del 7.12.2010.
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In this study, the encapsulation of saffron extract (SE) was examined at four various concentrations of soy lecithin (0.5%–4% w/v) and constant concentration of SE (0.25% w/v). Particle size and zeta potential of liposomes were in the range of 155.9–208.1 nm and −34.6–43.4 mV, respectively. Encapsulation efficiency was in the range of 50.73%–67.02%, with the stability of nanoliposomes in all treatments being >90%. Encapsulated SE (2% lecithin) was added to ricotta cheese at different concentrations (0%, 0.125%, 1%, and 2% w/v), and physicochemical and textural properties of the cheese were examined. Lecithin concentration significantly (p ≤ 0.05) affected the particle size, zeta potential, stability, and encapsulation efficiency of the manufactured liposomes. In terms of chemical composition and color of the functional cheese, the highest difference was observed between the control cheese and the cheese enriched with 2% liposomal encapsulated SE. Hardness and chewiness increased significantly (p ≤ 0.05) in the cheeses containing encapsulated SE compared to the control cheese. However, there was no significant difference in the case of adhesiveness, cohesiveness, and gumminess among different cheeses. Overall, based on the findings of this research, liposomal encapsulation was an efficient method for the delivery of SE in ricotta cheese as a novel functional food.
In the current study, probiotic L. acidophilus La-05 cell pellets were incorporated into buffalo milk Ricotta matrix. The compositional, colour, textural and sensorial parameters of control and probiotic Ricotta cheese were statistically non-significant (P < 0.05). The respective moisture, fat, protein, lactose and ash content of PRC was 75%, 6.41%, 11.88%, 4.88% and 1.86% with L. acidophilus La-05 count 7.8 ± 0.2 log CFU/g of product. The L*, a* and b* values of PRC were 81.48, −1.70 and 9.55, respectively. Scanning electron microscopy revealed that Ricotta cheese matrix mainly consists of protein network, the particles of coagulated whey proteins were inter-connected, and casein appeared as small clusters. The probiotic organism was embedded into protein matrix, which may provide an added protection to organisms. Descriptive sensory analysis characterized PRC as white, shiny, consistent in terms of color and uniform in terms of appearance with a flat flavour. Overall, the product got high overall acceptability (9.0 out of 10 scales) scores. The principal component analysis revealed four principal components of 18 sensory data explaining 92.433% of the total variance of study.
Ricotta cheese was selected to develop a novel food product. Ricotta is easily obtained from the precipitation of whey and milk proteins, through the application of heat and acidification. This product is characterised by its compact, finely granulated and crumbly mass of limited shelf life. Unlike the conventional methods for ricotta elaboration, a novel processing step was introduced to improve spreadability. The effect of hydrocolloids addition on physicochemical, mechanical and rheological properties was evaluated during storage. Hydrocolloids had a positive effect on the cheese matrix regarding microstructure and rheological properties. Samples showed acceptable physicochemical properties (compared with the control) during storage. Addition of hydrocolloids attenuated syneresis. Preliminary results showed that the best formulation was ricotta cheese containing high gelification capacity gelatin. Results of this study may contribute to the development of a novel dairy product.
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The aim of this work was the nutritional evaluation of reformulated dairy products (caciotta-type cheese) and manufactured either with a low-sodium chloride content (different salting time and/or composition of the brine) or low-fat content (different partially skimmed milks). These cheeses were intended for people on low-energy or low-sodium diets. A comparison was made between these new products and three typical Italian cheeses (Provolone, Taleggio and Pecorino Romano). The nutrient content of the products was determined. Amino acids by chromatographic methods, protein digestibility by an enzymatic method and lysine availability determined spectrophotometrically were shown not to be influenced by the salt reduction. The salt reduction also did not affect vitamin contents (riboflavin, retinols, carotenes and tocopherols) measured by HPLC methods, while the reduced fat contents (310 g kg-1, 160 g kg-1 and 87 g kg-1) led to significant decreases in concentrations of fat-soluble vitamins (38% for tocopherols and 7% for total retinols) and a decrease in riboflavin (13%) due to the loss of riboflavin enzymes located on the fat globules (ie xanthine oxidase). Both the typical cheeses and the new formulations represent good sources of calcium and protein. Protein digestibility was affected by the ripening time; in fact, in Pecorino Romano, ripened for 6–9 months it reached 62% in 6 h, whereas in Taleggio and in all caciotta–cheeses it reached only 32–37%. The nutritional profiles of the reformulated caciotta cheese showed that these products could represent a good choice in low-energy and low-sodium diets, but an enrichment of fat-soluble vitamins is advisable in the low-fat products. © 1997 SCI.
Background: Ten to 15% of patients with pouchitis experience refractory or recurrent disease. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness of a single daily high dose probiotic preparation (VSL#3) in maintaining antibiotic induced remission, and quality of life (QOL), for one year in such patients. Methods: Patients with pouchitis at least twice in the previous year or requiring continuous antibiotics, associated with a pouchitis disease activity index (PDAI) ⩾7 (0 = perfect; 18 = worst), in whom remission was induced by four weeks of combined metronidazole and ciprofloxacin, were randomised to receive VSL#3 6 g or placebo once daily for one year or until relapse. Symptomatic, endoscopic, and histological evaluations were made before, and two and 12 months after randomisation or at the time of relapse. Remission was defined as a clinical PDAI ⩽2 and endoscopic PDAI ⩽1. Relapse was defined as an increased clinical PDAI score ⩾2 and increased endoscopic PDAI score ⩾3. QOL was assessed using the inflammatory bowel disease questionnaire (IBDQ). Results: Thirty six patients were randomised: 20 to VSL#3 and 16 to placebo. Remission was maintained at one year in 17 patients (85%) on VSL#3 and in one patient (6%) on placebo (p<0.0001). The IBDQ score remained high in the VSL#3 group (p = 0.3) but deteriorated in the placebo group (p = 0.0005). Conclusion: The once daily high dose probiotic VSL#3 is effective in maintaining antibiotic introduced remission for at least a year in patients with recurrent or refractory pouchitis. This is associated with a high level of quality of life.
The objective of this study was to develop a new chestnut-based puree, in order to seasonally adjust the offer and use the surplus of undersized production, providing, at the same time, a response to the growing demand for healthy and environmentally friendly products. Broken dried chestnuts have been employed to prepare purees to be fermented with six different strains of Lactobacillus (Lb.) rhamnosus and Lactobacillus casei. The fermented purees were characterized by a technological and sensorial point of view, while the employed strains were tested for their probiotic potential. Conventional in vitro tests have indicated the six lactobacilli strains as promising probiotic candidates; moreover, being the strains able to grow and to survive in chestnut puree at a population level higher than 8 log₁₀ CFU/mL along 40 days of storage at 4 °C, the bases for the production of a new food, lactose-free and with reduced fat content, have been laid.
Four strains of Lactobacillus paracasei subsp. paracasei and Lact. plantarum are investigated within 16 d in order to determine the formation of metabolites during the degradation of grass fructan and inulin as well as the subsequent fermentation to lactic acid. The decrease of the total content of fructans throughout the entire time of investigation shows differences specific for strains as for either fructan substrate. The strain Lact. plantarum V 54/6 completely degrades the grass fructan and inulin within no longer than 13 d. The utilization of fructan by the other strains is temporally delayed, and in a smaller degree of degradation, especially remarkable for inulin cleavage. The structural modifications of decomposed fructans are characterized by a noticeable shift of the mean DP from approximately 80 to the oligomeric range analysed by anion exchange chromatography. Additionally, a newly formed series of peaks of oligomeric saccharides was detected during the degradation of grass fructan and inulin. Part of the fructose that is derived from cleavage of fructans is fermented immediately by the LAB strains into differently high amounts of lactic acid. The abundance of formed fructose is enriched in the medium to a varying extent, depending on the strain as well as the substrate used. From these results a number of fructan degradative enzymes in lactobacilli have been concluded to possibly vary their modes of regulation: strain specific exo- and endohydrolases with different activities against β-2,1 and β-2,6 linked fructan.
We investigated the effect of inulin as a prebiotic on the production of probiotic fibre-enriched fermented milk. The kinetics of acidification of inulin-supplemented milk (0, 0.01, 0.02 and 0.04 g/g), as well as probiotic survival, pH and firmness of fermented milk stored at 4°C for 24 h and 7 days after preparation were examined. Probiotic fibre-enriched fermented milk quality was influenced both by the amount of inulin and by the co-culture composition. Depending on the co-culture, inulin addition to milk influenced acidification kinetic parameters, probiotic counts, pH and the firmness of the product.
All lactic beverages were considered probiotics. The addition of prebiotic resulted in beverages with higher total solids and total carbohydrates contents, without changing the other physicochemical parameters, including the attributes of colour. All beverages showed non-Newtonian behaviour, with shear thinning characteristics and presence of thixotropy, which is less accentuated in beverages with oligofructose. In these beverages, there was a decrease in apparent viscosity, consistency index and activation energy, and an increase in flow index and frequency factor. The beverages with oligofructose were sensory preferred in relation to the control, also showing good overall acceptability and most judges indicated that they would buy such a product.
Milk and dairy products have been part of human nutrition since ancient times, constituting an important part of a balanced diet. Fermented dairy products containing living micro-organisms have traditionally been used to restore gut health, being among the pioneers in functional foods. Such utilisation of live micro-organisms forms the basis of the probiotic concept, which constitutes a fast growing market for the development of new products. In this article, we review the current status of fermented milk as a vehicle for delivery of beneficial bacteria and look into future new directions and challenges.
The chestnut fruit processing generates large amounts of residues as pericarp (outer shell; 8.9–13.5%) and integument (inner shell; 6.3–10.1%). These materials clearly have the potential as sources of valuable co-products. The analyses of the pericarp and integument of four Portuguese chestnut cultivars (Judia, Longal, Martaínha and Lada) revealed significant contents of total phenolics, low molecular weight phenolics (gallic and ellagic acid), condensed tannins and ellagitannins including castalagin, vescalagin, acutissimin A and acutissimin B. The integument tissues had the highest levels of total phenolics and condensed tannins. The most efficient extraction solvent for the total phenolics, total condensed tannins and low molecular weight phenolics (in Longal) was 70:30 acetone:water at 20 °C. The pericarp and integument tissues of the cultivar Longal were richest in gallic acid and castalagin. It is clear that these materials could be used for the extraction of valuable phenolics.
Research was conducted to examine the effect of inulin on the rheological and textural characteristics of yog-ice cream desserts in relation to their sensory attributes. Addition of inulin to yog-ice cream was shown to increase viscosity of the yogurt-ice cream mix and increase hardness of the resulting yog-ice cream. Meltdown characteristics of the yog-ice creams demonstrated a clear relationship between increased oligosaccharide levels and improved melting properties.
A novel extracellular fructanhydrolase was isolated from the culture filtrate of Lactobacillus paracasei ssp. paracasei P 4134 grown on a mineral medium supplemented with fructan extracted from Timothy (Phleum pratense L.) as the only carbon source. The enzyme was purified by a combination of ammonium sulphate precipitation, affinity chromatography, preparative isoelectric focusing and anion-exchange chromatography. As a result of these procedures, the specific enzyme activity increased 93-fold, with a final yield of 28·4%. The substrate-specific activities against different fructan types were determined by incubating the enzyme fractions with fructan extracted from Timothy (predominantly β-2,6 fructosyl-fructose linkages), inulin from Dahlia tubers (mostly β-2,1 fructosyl-fructose linkages) and sucrose. The purified enzyme catalysed the hydrolysis of β-2,6-linked fructan more rapidly than the β-2,1 linkages of inulin. Additionally, the enzyme showed low ability to hydrolyse sucrose. Fructose was the main product of the degradation of Timothy fructan and inulin, indicating a high exohydrolytic activity of the enzyme. It is proposed that the fructan-degrading enzyme from L. paracasei ssp. paracasei P 4134 is a β-D-fructan-fructohydrolase (EC The enzyme preparation showed a single protein band in sodium dodecyl sulphate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis with a mobility corresponding to molecular weight of c. 42 kDa. It was concluded that only one molecular weight of fructan-degrading enzyme exists in L. paracasei ssp. paracasei P 4134.