Isolation and characterization of microorganisms associated with soft cheese produced from sheep milk using different coagulants
Ogunlade AO, Oyetayo VO, Ojokoh AO, Olowomofe TO
Milk is an ideal medium for the growth of microorganisms because it is highly nutritious. Cow milk is the major milk used for the production of cheese although milk can also be gotten from other animals such as sheep, goat, camels and buffalo. Soft cheese was produced from sheep milk and the microorganisms associated with the soft cheese were isolated and identified using colonial, morphological and biochemical characterization. Different coagulants such as Calotropis procera, Carica papaya, lemon juice and steep water from maize, millet and sorghum were used for the production. The result revealed that six different bacteria were isolated and identified and they include Bacillus cereus, Bacillus subtilis, Lactococcus lactis, Lactobacillus casei, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Staphylococcus aureus and 8 different fungi species isolated and identified include Aspergillus niger, Aspergillus fumigatus, Rhizopus stolonifer, Penicillium chrysogenium. Mucor hiemalis, Candida albicans, Fusarium verticillioides and Saccharomyces sp. The presence of these microorganisms indicated that the soft cheese produced was not sterile and highly contaminated and it can pose serious health risk to consumers. It is therefore recommended that soft cheese should be produced under hygienic condition since it’s a ready to eat food.