Abstract: Background and Objective: Sharri cheese is considered as one of the most popular brined cheeses in Kosovo produced on the highlands of the Sharri mountains. The modest mountain conditions and non-standardized production often lead to a non-standardized quality of this cheese. The purpose of this study was to determine the physical and chemical changes, as well as the changes in the total number of bacteria in Sharri cheese during ripening in different brine solutions and temperatures. Materials and Methods: Salting of Sharri cheeses during manufacture was carried out with different concentrations of brine (3, 6, 9 and 12% NaCl) and different ripening temperatures (8 and 22°C). Analyses of physical and chemical parameters such as protein, fat, dry matter, acidity and pH as well as analyses of the total number of bacteria were performed using traditional methods in different periods of ripening (on days 1, 3, 7, 15, 30, 45 and 60, respectively). The one-way analysis of variance, ANOVA model was used to test the effect of different treatments, while Tukeys HSD was applied to the test for significant difference at a level of significance 0.05 (5%) among the different treatments (salt and temperature). Results: The results obtained showed significantly increased (5%) values of protein content (26.5-29.1%), dry matter (56.8-59.9%) and total acidity (36.1-45.3%), of the cheese during ripening. However, no significant changes were seen in pH level or fat content during ripening time. The total bacterial count in the first part of ripening process showed a significant decreased from first day 86×107-16×107 CFU mL1 in day fifteenth, indicating a turbulent process of fermentation. It was also found that increased salt concentration (from 3% up to 12% NaCl) of the brine caused a decrease in the total number of bacteria in the cheese. Conclusion: The study demonstrates the need to determine the adequate concentration of brine solution and temperature for Sharri cheese production.
Mergim Mestani, Xhavit Ramadani, Tahire Maloku Gjergji, Tarik Dizdarevic and Ibrahim Mehmeti, 2017. Influence of Brine Concentration and Ripening Temperature on Quality of Sharri Cheese. International Journal of Dairy Science, 12: 310-317.