Effect of alligator pepper (Aframommum melegueta) and honey on proximate composition, microbial and sensory properties of West African soft cheese

A A Badmos, K D Adeyemi, A T Yusuff, M Odebisi Omokanye, F P Okoli, A Arise, K O Salami, A O Lawal


Cheese is a highly nutritious food but the supply is highly limited by its short shelf life in the tropics. Several attempts have been made through the use of natural preservatives to increase the shelf life of cheese. In this study, the effect of honey and ether extract of Aframommum melegueta (A. melegueta) on proximate, microbial and sensory properties of cheese was investigated using three levels (0, 3, and 6%) of the two additives in a 3×3 factorial experiment. The sensory value of the cheese samples was assessed by a 30-member panel, the proximate values determined and the bacterial status monitored over a 3-day period. The results showed at 3% level each of honey and ether extract of A. melegueta (3H;3A), there was a significant improvement in the protein and fat content of the soft cheese. The control cheese without the addition of the additives and the cheese fortified with 3% A. melegueta extract were the most acceptable to the sensory panelists. Lactic acid bacteria and non-lactic isolates were isolated from the cheese. The cheese treated with 6 % honey and 6 % A. melegueta extract (6H, 6A) had the lowest bacterial count. The following blends of honey and ether extract of A. melegueta - 6H, 6A; 3H;3A; 0H;6A and 6H;0A is recommended as preservatives and additives of West African Soft Cheese.

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