Microbiological quality of Tarhana, Turkish cereal based fermented food

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ObjectivesTarhana is a traditional fermented product produced from a mixture of yogurt and wheat flour in Turkey. The aim of the present study was to investigate the microbiological quality of tarhana and its raw material.MethodsSamples were collected from eight different regions of Turkey during fermentation period and after drying process. Aerobic plate count, Staphylococcus aureus, Salmonella spp., Clostridium perfringens, coliform, Escherichia coli and Bacillus cereus analysis were applied for detecting the microbiological quality of tarhana samples.ResultsE. coli and S. aureus were not isolated from all the production steps used. Some of the tarhana samples were found containing coliform, Salmonella, C. perfringens and B. cereus at the beginning of the fermentation process; however, they were not isolated from other stages, except one dried tarhana sample, which were containing C. perfringens in low levels. It is found that yogurt and wheat flour samples met the microbiological criteria given for these products. Changes of pH and acidic values during tarhana fermentations were also detected in the study.ConclusionThe results indicated that microbiological and chemical properties of tarhana change depending on the raw materials, fermentation time and techniques used in its production.

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