Published in Applied Research
A promising approach to increase the shelf life of pita bread

Nowadays, there is an increasing concern regarding the shelf life of food products, leading producers to research natural antimicrobial agents to use in food preparation. In a study published on the Journal of Dairy Science, Italian Researchers evaluated the antifungal activity of Lactobacillus plantarum fermented whey and then added the whey during preparation of pita bread to study shelf-life improvement.

The fermented whey showed a satisfactory inhibitory (antifungal) effect against Penicillium expansum and Penicillium brevicompactum strains: the minimum inhibitory and minimum fungicidal concentrations ranged from 3.9 to 39.0 g/L and from 62.5 to 250 g/L, respectively. Addition of fermented whey increased the shelf life of the pita bread. After inoculation of the bread surface with Penicillium, an increase in shelf life until d 8 was achieved compared with the positive control, whereas under natural contamination conditions, an extension of shelf life until d 19 was observed. In terms of antimicrobial activity, the greatest reduction (100%) in fungal growth was achieved when all of the water in the dough was replaced with fermented whey. An untrained sensory panel could not identify differences between bread produced with fermented whey and control pita breads. These results suggest the possibility of using fermented whey in food preservation. 

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