Use of isolated kefir starter cultures in kefir production


Kefir is a beverage produced by lactic-alcoholic fermentation of milk using kefir grain. For the first time in Iran, the microbial flora of kefir grain was isolated and identified (Motaghi et al. 1997). In this paper various ratios of starter cultures of kefir grains were investigated. Various ratios of lactic acid bacteria, yeasts and acetic acid bacteria were tested and the quality (colour, smell, flavour, acidity, effervescence and viscosity) of the product was assessed. At constant incubation time and temperature (24 h, 25 °C using homogenised milk with 2.5% fat), samples with various ratios of starter culture (3–5% w/v) were examined and analysed for protein, fat, sugar, alcohol, carbon dioxide, acidity, density, and riboflavin content. Samples produced with 3% (v/v) bacterial mixed culture and 2% (v/v) yeast (K3 procedure) culture were considered as best with respect to quality and organoleptic quality. The comparison of the results with the organoleptic tests of previous studies showed that the kefir produced with kefir grain is more desirable as compared with kefir produced with starter cultures.

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Assadi, M., Pourahmad, R. & Moazami, N. Use of isolated kefir starter cultures in kefir production. World Journal of Microbiology and Biotechnology 16, 541–543 (2000).

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  • Kefir
  • native microbial strains
  • starter cultures