Journal of dairy science

Use of a miniature laboratory fresh cheese model for investigating antimicrobial activities.

PMID 26454301


Hispanic-style fresh cheeses, such as queso fresco, have relatively low salt content, high water activity, and near neutral pH, which predisposes them to growth of Listeria monocytogenes. Biosafety constraints limit the incorporation of L. monocytogenes into cheeses manufactured via traditional methods in challenge studies, so few have focused on in situ testing of novel antimicrobials in fresh cheeses. We have developed a modular, miniaturized laboratory-scale queso fresco model for testing the incorporation of novel antilisterials. We have demonstrated the assessment of the antilisterials nisin and ferulic acid, alone and in combination, at various levels. Our results support the inhibitory effects of ferulic acid in cheese, against both L. monocytogenes and its common surrogate Listeria innocua, and we provide preliminary evaluation of its consumer acceptability.