Short communication: Influence of an aqueous myrrh suspension on yogurt culture bacteria over yogurt shelf life.


School of Nutrition and Food Sciences, Louisiana State University Agricultural Center, Baton Rouge 70803. Electronic address: [Email]


Myrrh is an essential oil and natural flavoring approved by the US Food and Drug Administration, and it has antibacterial and antifungal activity against pathogens. Our objective was to determine the effect of an aqueous myrrh suspension on Streptococcus thermophilus and Lactobacillus delbrueckii ssp. bulgaricus counts in peptone solution and yogurt, as well as pH and titratable acidity of yogurt during 5 wk of storage at 1 to 4°C. The myrrh suspension (10% wt/vol) was prepared and incorporated into a pure culture dilution in peptone and into yogurt mix at a 1% (vol/vol) level. A control with no myrrh was also prepared, and 3 replications were conducted. Streptococcus thermophilus were enumerated using Streptococcus thermophilus agar with aerobic incubation at 37°C for 24 h, and Lactobacillus delbrueckii ssp. bulgaricus were enumerated using de Man, Rogosa, and Sharpe agar adjusted to pH 5.2, with anaerobic incubation at 43°C for 72 h. During the 8-h period after inoculation, S. thermophilus and L. delbrueckii ssp. bulgaricus counts in peptone solution at 37°C and 43°C, respectively, were not significantly different in the presence or absence of the aqueous myrrh suspension. Counts of S. thermophilus in yogurt containing myrrh (mean ± SD; 4.96 ± 0.58 log cfu/mL) were not significantly different from those in the control yogurt (4.87 ± 0.39 log cfu/mL). The log counts for L. delbrueckii ssp. bulgaricus in yogurt containing myrrh (5.04 ± 1.44 log cfu/mL) and those of the control (5.52 ± 1.81 log cfu/mL) did not differ, and the counts remained within 1 log of each other throughout 5 wk of storage. The pH of the yogurts containing the aqueous myrrh suspension was not significantly different from that of the control yogurts, and their pH values were within 0.1 pH unit of each other in any given week. Titratable acidity values remained steady around 1.1 to 1.2% lactic acid for both yogurt types throughout the storage period, with no significant differences between them. Yogurt culture bacteria can survive in the presence of a myrrh suspension in yogurt with no significant change in pH or titratable acidity. Therefore, it may be beneficial to add an aqueous myrrh suspension to yogurt.


antimicrobial,myrrh,yogurt culture,