Volatile Organic Compounds in Naturally Fermented Milk and Milk Fermented Using Yeasts, Lactic Acid Bacteria and Their Combinations As Starter Cultures

Tendekayi H. Gadaga1*, Bennie C. Viljoen2 and Judith A. Narvhus3

Department of Nutrition, National University of Lesotho, P.O. Roma 180, Lesotho

2Department of Microbial, Biochemical and Food Biotechnology, University of the Free State, Bloemfontein 9300, South Africa
3Department of Chemistry, Biotechnology and Food Science, Norwegian University of Life Sciences, P.O. Box 5053, N-1432 Ås, Norway

Article history:

Received September 2, 2005
Accepted June 29, 2006

Key words:

fermented milk, starter culture, volatile organic compounds, amasi


The volatile organic compounds present in 18 Zimbabwean naturally fermented milk (amasi) samples and those produced by various yeasts, lactic acid bacteria (LAB) and yeast/ LAB combinations were determined using headspace gas chromatography. The yeast strains used were: Candida kefyr 23, C. lipolytica 57, Saccharomyces cerevisiae 71, C. lusitaniae 68, C. tropicalis 78, C. lusitaniae 63, C. colliculosa 41, S. dairenensis 32, and Dekkera bruxellensis 43, and were coded Y1 to Y9, respectively. The LAB strains used were Lactococcus lactis subsp. lactis Lc39, L. lactis subsp. lactis Lc261, Lactobacillus paracasei Lb11, and L. lactis subsp. lactis biovar. diacetylactis C1, and were coded B1 to B4, respectively. Some of the volatile organic compounds found in amasi were acetaldehyde, ethanol, acetone, 2-methyl propanal, 2-methyl-1-propanol and 3-methyl-1-butanol. However, the levels of volatile organic compounds in the naturally fermented milk (NFM) samples varied from one sample to another, with acetaldehyde ranging from 0.1–18.4 ppm, 3-methyl butanal from <0.1–0.47 ppm and ethanol from 39.3–656 ppm. The LAB/C. kefyr 23 (B/Y1) co-cultures produced significantly (p<0.05) higher levels of acetaldehyde and ethanol than the levels found in the NFM. The acetaldehyde levels in the B/Y1 samples ranged from 26.7–87.7 ppm, with L. lactis subsp. lactis biovar. diacetylactis C1 (B4) producing the highest level of acetaldehyde in combination with C. kefyr 23 (Y1). Using principal component analysis (PCA), most of the NFM samples were grouped together with single and co-cultures of Lc261, Lb11 and the non-lactose fermenting yeasts, mainly because of the low levels of ethanol and similar levels of 3-methyl butanal. Chromatograms of amasi showed prominent peak of methyl aldehydes and their alcohols including 3-methyl-butanal and 3-methyl-butanol, suggesting that these compounds are important attributes of Zimbabwean naturally fermented milk.


*Corresponding author: 
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