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Incorporation of Spirulina platensis on traditional Greek soft cheese with respect to its nutritional and sensory perspectives
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1  Hellenic Agricultural Organization-ELGO Demeter (registering DOI)

Spirulina platensis, the most popular microalgae species known for its high protein content and bioactive compounds such as phycocyanin and allophycocyanin have been studied for cheese fortification. Incorporation of Spirulina in dairy products poses major sensorial challenges due to its characteristic odor and its insolubility in food formulation thus limiting consumer acceptance. The main objective was the production of a novel spread cheese fortified with Spirulina so powdered Spirulina was added at different concentrations (0.25, 0.5, and 1%), and the effect on physicochemical, and sensory characteristics was assessed. Cheese samples were examined for pH, fat (Gerber-Van Gulik method), salt (Volhard method), protein (Kjeldahl), and moisture content by drying to constant weight at 102±1°C. Cheeses were, also, assessed organoleptically by five experienced panelists. Generally, the addition of spirulina slightly increased the protein content and affected the color of the cheeses. The cheeses were considered all acceptable for consumption by the panelists, however, the cheeses with 0.25 and 0.5 % spirulina were preferred due to the less intense characteristic odor and taste of spirulina. In conclusion, it is possible to produce an acceptable spread cheese with the addition of spirulina without significant changes in the cheese production line.

Keywords: Spirulina platensis, cheese, functional