Pissa Paphos, a natural mastic resin (Pistacia terebinthus) was evaluated as an encapsulating and matrix-formingmaterial for the immobilisation of the probiotic bacterium Lactobacillus casei ATCC 393. The immobilized biocatalystwas added as an adjunct for the production of functional myzithra cheese. In total, four myzithra cheeseswere manufactured: (a) Cheese with L. casei cells entrapped in P. terebinthus matrix (Pissa Paphos) (b) Cheesewith free L. casei cells and P. terebinthus resin, (c) Cheese with free L. casei cells without the resin and (d)Traditional myzithra cheese. P. terebinthus resin provided antimicrobial properties by suppressing the growth offungi/yeasts in myzithra cheeses during refrigerated storage. On the contrary, the presence of the resin did notaffect the cell counts of the probiotic microorganism which maintained in high populations (above 9 log CFUg−1) during storage. Additionally, the viscus matrix of the resin seems to confer a protective effect on theentrapped L. casei cells since higher populations were observed over free cells. Moreover, all myzithra cheeseswith incorporated resin were characterized by an exceptional mastic gum aroma and pleasant coherent texturewhich indicates the product's high commercialization potential.
- Pistacia terebinthus resin
- Myzithra cheese