Dairy Science & Technology

, Volume 94, Issue 1, pp 83–89 | Cite as

Safranal transference from ewe's milk to cheese and whey and antifungal properties of fortified whey

  • Celia M. Librán
  • Carmen C. Licón
  • Jéssica Serrano-Díaz
  • Manuel Carmona
  • María I. BerrugaEmail author


Growth of undesirable moulds is one of the major causes of defects in modern cheese production, and it is necessary to discover natural antifungal substances that are non-toxic to humans. Saffron spice has been successfully used as a new ingredient in some Italian or Spanish cheeses, but transference of safranal (the main compound responsible for saffron aroma) during cheesemaking has not yet been studied. In this study, the distribution of safranal in cheese, whey and requesón (Spanish whey cheese) and the antifungal potential of whey fractions against the mould Penicillium verrucosum were studied. To this end, a duplicate fabrication of cheeses was performed with raw ewe's milk with the addition of 40 μg−1 or control milk (no safranal addition). Safranal was more concentrated in cheese and requesón (78.91 and 76.95 μ−1, respectively) than in whey and requesón whey (35.19 and 34.64 μ−1, respectively). These liquid fractions showed good antifungal properties and inhibited mould with a safranal concentration of around 35 μ−1, while a solution of 80 μ−1 was required for a standard safranal solution to obtain a similar inhibition. These results reveal that whey has a synergistic effect with safranal in preventing cheese spoilage by moulds, which encourages making full use of this problematic by-product.


Safranal Cheese Whey Penicillium verrucosum 



This work has been financially supported by the Consejería de Educación y Ciencia of the JCCM with Research Project PBI08-0245-8453 and funding for C. C. Licón. The authors wish to thank G. Alonso for his valuable advice while conducting the study and Julián Molero for his technical support.


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Copyright information

© INRA and Springer-Verlag France 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Celia M. Librán
    • 1
  • Carmen C. Licón
    • 1
  • Jéssica Serrano-Díaz
    • 2
    • 3
  • Manuel Carmona
    • 2
    • 4
  • María I. Berruga
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Departamento de Ciencia y Tecnología Agroforestal y Genética, ETSIA-IDRUniversidad de Castilla-La ManchaAlbaceteSpain
  2. 2.Cátedra de Química Agrícola, ETSIAUniversidad de Castilla-La ManchaAlbaceteSpain
  3. 3.Departamento de Tecnología de los Alimentos, Nutrición y BromatologíaCampus Regional de Excelencia Internacional “Campus Mare Nostrum”, Universidad de MurciaMurciaSpain
  4. 4.Parque Científico y Tecnológico de AlbaceteAlbaceteSpain

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