The objectives of this study were to determine the cumulative effects of flavorings (chili pepper, thyme, mint, cumin, nutmeg, allspice, clove, cinnamon, black pepper, salt, and hot red pepper paste), storage conditions, and storage time on the survival of Staphylococcus aureus in Sürk cheese and to monitor the associated chemical changes. Sürk cheese, a traditional Turkish cheese, was produced by heating diluted nonfat yogurt and adding flavorings to the resultant acid-heat curd. The cheese was later inoculated with S. aureus, shaped conically, and stored aerobically for mold growth and anaerobically in olive oil for 30 days at room temperature. The moisture content of aerobically stored cheese decreased over time and led to increases in total solids, salt, salt-in-moisture, and ash content during ripening (P < 0.05). The presence or absence of the flavorings had no significant effect, whereas storage conditions and storage duration decreased the survival of S. aureus (P < 0.05).

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