Evaluation of Cheddar Cheese as a Food Carrier for Delivery of a Probiotic Strain to the Gastrointestinal Tract

G. Gardiner, C. Stanton, P. B. Lynch, J. K. Collins, G. Fitzgerald, R. P. Ross

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

146 Citations (Scopus)


Cheddar cheese was evaluated as a food carrier for the delivery of viable microorganisms of Enterococcus faecium (Fargo 688®; Quest Int., Naarden, The Netherlands) to the gastrointestinal tract. This strain had previously been shown to possess properties required of a probiotic microorganism including the ability to relieve irritable bowel syndrome. The strain was found to survive to high numbers in Cheddar cheese during ripening at 8°C for 15 mo (4 × 108 cfu/g) and in yogurt during storage at 4°C for 21 d (4 × 107 cfu/g). In an in vitro model system, Cheddar cheese was found to have a greater protective effect than yogurt upon exposure of the probiotic culture to porcine gastric juice at pH 2. Subsequently, a feeding trial involving 8 pigs per group was performed in which a rifampicin-resistant variant of the probiotic strain was fed for 21 d at a mean daily intake of 1.3 × 1010 cfu/d from Cheddar cheese or 3.7 × 109 cfu/d from yogurt. During the feeding period, Cheddar cheese yielded a significantly higher mean fecal probiotic count (2 × 106 cfu/g of feces) than did yogurt (5.2 × 105 cfu/g of feces). These data indicate that mature Cheddar cheese compares very favorably with fresh yogurt as a delivery system for viable probiotic microorganisms to the gastrointestinal tract.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1379-1387
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Dairy Science
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - Jul 1999
Externally publishedYes


  • Carrier
  • Cheddar cheese
  • Probiotic
  • Viable


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