ARCHIV FUR LEBENSMITTELHYGIENE, vol.58, no.2, pp.51-56, 2007 (SCI-Expanded)
Whey cheese is a type of soft fresh cheese, which is produced according to traditional protocols in different Mediterranean countries. The microbiological quality of Lor whey cheese, which is a traditional Turkish cheese, mostly depends on the traditional protocol used. The initial microflora is one of the important quality parameters affecting shelf life of Lor cheese. In the present study, two batches of Lor cheese were produced with slightly different protocols, resulting in differences in the initial microflora. Both batches were divided into four groups, which were packaged under three different modified atmosphere (MAP) conditions or air as control. The packages were stored at +4 degrees C and were analyzed microbiologically after 0, 1, 7,15,30 and 60 days of storage. Total mesophilic aerobic bacteria, coliform bacteria, Escherichia coli, lactic acid bacteria and yeasts-moulds have been selected as microbiological criteria because they are characteristic for the shelf life of whey cheeses. The differences in the production protocols and the effect of MAP were evaluated. Lor cheese produced via modified protocol with lower initial bacterial numbers and packaged under 60 % CO2 and 40 % N-2 had the longest microbiological shelf life. Further studies are necessary in order to support legislative acts for Lor cheeses.