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Physiochemical, microbiological and sensory characterization of Halloumi cheese fortified with garlic (Allium sativum) and pepper (Piper nigrum)
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1  Department of Livestock and Avian Sciences, Faculty of Livestock, Fisheries and Nutrition, Wayamba University of Sri Lanka, Makandura, Gonawila (NWP) 60170, Sri Lanka
Academic Editor: Chi-Fai Chau


Halloumi, the traditional cheese of Cyprus, has gained international merit due to its characteristic aroma, elastic texture, and easy slicing ability. This study aimed to develop a cow’s milk Halloumi cheese fortifying with Garlic and Pepper and evaluate its physicochemical, microbiological and sensory properties. The physicochemical and microbiological properties were evaluated during a 35-day storage period within seven days of intervals under refrigerated conditions. The Total solids, protein, fat and ash contents had significantly increased (P<0.05) and moisture and pH had decreased significantly (P<0.05) in developed Halloumi cheese during the storage time. A significant total color difference (∆E*) was observed on the 21st day of storage. The storage results revealed that hardness, gumminess, and chewiness increased and cohesiveness decreased significantly (P<0.05). There was a significant increase (P<0.05) of total bacteria, Escherichia coli, yeasts and molds and lactic acid bacteria counts and Staphylococcus aureus count showed a significant decrease (P<0.05) in Halloumi cheese during the storage time. Yeasts and molds exceeded the 1.5 log CFU/g maximum permissible limit at 21 days of storage. Therefore, the microbiological shelf life of Halloumi cheese fortified with garlic and pepper was concluded as 21 days in refrigerated condition. The sensory evaluation revealed that the participants (n=30) significantly preferred aroma, texture, and before and after taste of fortified Halloumi cheese (P<0.05) over the non-fortified Halloumi cheese. Principal Component Analysis (PCA) showed aroma, texture, overall flavor, and before and after taste highly correlated. According to Pearson correlation, sensory color score correlated with instrumental color values (L, a and b values). Just Above Right (JAR) analysis showed that 53% accepted the color of the developed product. Overall, the spice powder mixture fortification of Halloumi cheese had higher consumer acceptance than the original Halloumi cheese.

Keywords: Cheese; Halloumi; microbiology; physiochemical; sensory