Survival and inhibition of Staphylococcus aureus by the lactic acid bacteria (LAB) starter culture (Sterptococcus thermophillus and Lactobacillus delbrukii subsp. bulgaricus) and/ or probiotic bacteria Bifidobacterium lactis during milk fermentation to yoghurt and storage up to 12 days was studied. Adding S. aureus (initial count log 6.64/ ml) with LAB (initial count log 6.8/ ml) in milk during yoghurt processing and storage resulted in no significant change in the counts of both S. aureus and LAB during fermentation period of 4 hrs at 45° C. A steady decrease in S. aureus count during storage at 25° C and 4° C was observed reaching a complete (100 %) inhibition after 9 and 12 days, respectively, with no significant increase in LAB count. Adding S. aureus (initial count log 6.62/ ml) with B. lactis (initial count log 6.83/ ml) in milk for 4 hr at45° C, no significant changes in the counts of both bacteria were found. After storage at 25° C and at 4° C a sharp decline in the S. aureus count with a 100 % inhibition after 6 and 9 days with approximately two log and one log increase in B. lactis counts consecutively. In general similar result was observed when adding S. aureus together with LAB and B. lactis in milk during fermentation and storage. pH values decreased during milk fermentation and storage from initially 6.55-6.64 to around 4 in most milk samples.
The results of this study show that S. aureus was completely inhibited by LAB and/or B. lactis after milk fermentation to yoghurt and storage at room temperature and refrigeration for 6-9 days. It is therefore recommended to add the probiotic B. lactis with LAB to milk for yoghurt processing.