Influence of a probiotic adjunct culture of Enterococcus faecium on the quality of Cheddar cheese

Gillian E. Gardiner, R. Paul Ross, Jean M. Wallace, Francis P. Scanlan, Paul P.J.M. Jägers, Gerald F. Fitzgerald, J. Kevin Collins, Catherine Stanton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

90 Citations (Scopus)


Cheddar cheese has previously been shown to be an effective vehicle for delivery of viable cells of a probiotic Enterococcus faecium strain to the gastrointestinal tract. The particular strain, E. faecium PR88, has proven efficacy in the treatment of irritable bowel syndrome, and in this study it was evaluated for suitability as a starter adjunct for Cheddar cheese manufacture. When added to cheesemilk at an inoculum of 2 x 107 cfu/mL, the enterococcal adjunct maintained viability in Cheddar cheese at levels of up to 3 x 108 cfu/g during 9 months of ripening. Increased proteolysis and higher levels of some odor-active volatile compounds were observed in Cheddar cheeses containing the PR88 adjunct compared with the control throughout the ripening period. In addition, the enterococcal adjunct strain did not affect cheese composition. Although sensory evaluation showed no significant difference inflavor/aroma and body/texture scores between control and experimental cheeses, repeated comments by the commercial grader consistently described the cheeses containing PR88 as 'more advanced than the control' and as having better flavor'. These findings indicate that the presence of the PR88 adjunct strain in Cheddar cheese at levels of ≥ 108 cfu/g may positively influence Cheddar flavor.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4907-4916
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - Dec 1999
Externally publishedYes


  • Adjunct
  • Cheese
  • Enterococcus
  • Flavor
  • Probiotic


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