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Anaerobe. 2007 Oct-Dec;13(5-6):200-7. Epub 2007 May 21.

Functional petit-suisse cheese: measure of the prebiotic effect.

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Food Microbial Sciences Unit, Department of Food Biosciences, The University of Reading, Whiteknights, Reading RG6 6AP, UK.


Prebiotics and probiotics are increasingly being used to produce potentially synbiotic foods, particularly through dairy products as vehicles. It is well known that both ingredients may offer benefits to improve the host health. This research aimed to evaluate the prebiotic potential of novel petit-suisse cheeses using an in vitro fermentation model. Five petit-suisse cheese formulations combining candidate prebiotics (inulin, oligofructose, honey) and probiotics (Lactobacillus acidophilus, Bifidobacterium lactis) were tested in vitro using sterile, stirred, batch culture fermentations with human faecal slurry. Measurement of prebiotic effect (MPE) values were generated comparing bacterial changes through determination of maximum growth rates of groups, rate of substrate assimilation and production of lactate and short chain fatty acids. Fastest fermentation and high lactic acid production, promoting increased growth rates of bifidobacteria and lactobacilli, were achieved with addition of prebiotics to a probiotic cheese (made using starter+probiotics). Addition of probiotic strains to control cheese (made using just a starter culture) also resulted in high lactic acid production. Highest MPE values were obtained with addition of prebiotics to a probiotic cheese, followed by addition of prebiotics and/or probiotics to a control cheese. Under the in vitro conditions used, cheese made with the combination of different prebiotics and probiotics resulted in the most promising functional petit-suisse cheese. The study allowed comparison of potentially functional petit-suisse cheeses and screening of preferred synbiotic potential for future market use.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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