Isolation and identification of microorganisms and antibacterial activity of Laban Zeer, an Egyptian traditional fermented milk product


  • F. A. Saleh Food and Nutrition Sciences Dep. College of Agriculture and Food Science, King Faisal University, Saudi Arabia


Laban Zeer, Traditional Egyptian fermented milk, LAB, Yeasts, Antibacterial, Pathogens


Laban Zeer is a traditional Egyptian fermented milk product. The microorganisms of Laban Zeer were isolated and identified to species level, as well as the antibacterial activity of Laban Zeer was also studied against pathogenic bacteria. Total viable microorganisms, including, lactic acid bacteria (LAB), aerobic mesophilic bacterial, Enterococus and Enterobacteriaceae were enumerated. A total forty eight LAB and twenty eight yeast isolates were isolated from four Laban Zeer samples and identified by API 50 CHL and API 20C AUX identification system, respectively. The avenger of LAB counts were 7.4 cfu/g, while yeast and Enterococus counts were 4.67 and 4.39 cfu/g, respectively. It is noted that the count of bacteria belonging to the family of Enterobacteriaceae was not detected in all tested samples. The LAB species were identified as Leuconostoc mesenteroides subsp. cremoris, Lb. rhamnosus, Lb.  plantarum, Lb. paracasei subsp paracasei, Lb. delbercii subsp bulgaricus, Lb. curvatus subsp curvatus and Lb acidophilus. The isolated yeasts were identified as Sccharomyces cervisiaeCandida kefyrCandida utilis and Rhodotorula mucilaginosa. The most frequently isolated species was found to be Leuconostoc mesenteroides subsp. cremoris (37.5%)Lb. rhamnosus (20.8%), Sccharomyces cervisiae (41.9%) and Candida kefyr (29.0%).  The antimicrobial activities of Laban Zeer were evaluated in vitro using an agar well diffusion method and in situ method. The major supernatants of Laban Zeer samples inhibited the growth of pathogenic bacteria, belonging to EscherichiaPseudomonasSalmonellaListeria and Staphylococcus genera in various degrees. The in situ method was performed by the inoculation of Staph. aureus and E. coli in Laban Zeer samples separately at an initial level around of 6 log cfu/ml. The count of Staph. aureus and E. coli were not detected after 12 and 3 days of refrigerated storage period,  respectively in samples number 2 and 3. Laban Zeer is not suitable environment for growth and activity of such pathogen and would eliminate the pathogen early enough before the products were made ready for consumption. The microorganisms isolated from Laban Zeer can be used widely in the food fermentation industry as starter culture and bio-preservatives due to their broad inhibition spectrum.


Abdelgadir, W.S., Hamad, S.H., Moller, P.L., Jakobsen, M., 2001. Characterisations of the dominant microbiota of

Sudanese fermented milk rob. International Dairy Journal 11, 63-70.

Abou-Donia, S.A., 2008. Origin, history and manufacturing process of Egyptian dairy products: A overview.

Alexandria Journal of Food Science and Technology, 5(1), 51-62.

Adebayo-tayom, B.C., Onilude, A.A., 2008. Screening of lactic acid bacteria strains isolated from some Nigerian

fermented foods for EPS production. World Applied Sciences Journal. 4, 471-747.

Ahmadova, A., Todorov, S.D., Choiset, Y., Rabesona, H., Zadi, T.M., Kuliyev, A., de Melo Franco, B.D.G., Chobert,

J., Haertlé, T., 2013. Evaluation of antimicrobial activity, probiotic properties and safety of wild strain

Enterococcus faecium AQ71 isolated from Azerbaijani Motal cheese. Food Control 30, 631-641

Akabanda, F., Owusu-Kwarteng, J., Glover, K.R.L., Tano-Debrah, K., 2010. Microbiological characteristics of

Ghanaian traditional fermented milk product, Nunu. Nature and Science, (8)9, 178-187.

Alvarez-Martin, P., Florez, A.B., Hernandez-Barranco, A., Mayo, B., 2008. Interaction between dairy yeasts and

lactic acid bacteria strains during milk fermentation. Food Control, 19 62–70.

Alvarez-Ordonez, A., Fernandez, A., Bernando, A., Lopez, M., 2009. Comparison of acids on the induction of an acid

tolerance resonse in Salmonella typhimurium consequences for food. Meat Science, 81(1), 65-70.

Beuchat, L.R., 1983. Indigenous fermented foods. In: Reed, G. (ed.) Food and Feed production with

Microorganisms. Biotechnology, vol. 5, Verlag Chemie, Weinheim 477 (cited by FAO, 1999 Fermented cereals,

a global perspective. FAO agriculture services bulletin No. 138 ).

Beukes, E.M., Bester, B.H., Mostert, J.F., 2001. The microbiology of South African traditional fermented milk.

International Journal Food Microbiology, 63, 189-197.

Björkroth, J., Holzapfel W., 2006. Genera Leuconostoc, Oenococcus and Weissella., p. 267- 180 319. In M. Dworkin,

S., Falkow, E., Rosenberg, K., Schleifer, H., Stackebrandt E. (ed.)., The 181 Prokaryotes. Springer, New York,


Cizeikiene, D., Juodeikiene, G., Paskevicius, A., Bartkiene, E., 2013. Antimicrobial activity of lactic acid bacteria

against pathogenic and spoilage microorganism isolated from food and their control in wheat bread. Food

Control 31, 539-545

Cogan, T.M., Jordan K.N., 1994. Metabolism of Leuconostoc bacteria. J Dairy Sci 77, 2704- 191 2717.

Daglioglu, O., Arici, M., Konyali, M., Gumus. T., 2002. Effects of tarhana fermentation and drying methods on the

fate of Escherichia coli O157:H7 and Staphylococcus aureus. European Food Research Technology. 215, 515-

DÜndar, H., 2006. Characterization and purification of a bacteriocin produced by Leuconostoc mesenteroides subsp

cremoris. Ph.D. thesis in Biotechnology, School of Natural and Applied Sciences of Middle east Technical


Duskova, M., Karoiskova, R., 2013. Antimicrobial Resistance of Lactobacilli Isolated from Food. Czech Journal of

Food Science, 31(1), 27-32

El Soda, M., Ahmed, N., Omran, N., Osman, G., Morsi, A., 2003. Isolation, Identification and selection of lactic acid

bacteria cultures for cheesemaking. Emir. J. Agric. Sci., 15, 51-71.

El-Gindy, S.M., 1983. Fermented foods of Egypt and middle east . J Food Protection 46: 358-567.

El-Shafei, K., Ibrahim, G.A., Tawfik, N.F., 2002. Beneficial uses of locally isolated lactic acid bacteria, Egypt. J. Dairy

Sci. 30, 15–25.

Fazeli, M.R., Vaghari, E., Jamalifar, H., Ebrahim, Z., Samadi, N., 2009. Antimicrobial Activity of Lactobacillus

plantarum Strains Isolated from Fermented Olives Origin. Journal of Medicinal Plants, 8(31), 14-18.

Feresu, S.B., Muzondo, M.I., 1990. Identification of some lactic acid bacteria from two Zimbabwean fermented milk

products. World Journal Microbiology And Biotechnology, 6, 178- 186.

Gadaga, T.H., Mutukumira, A.N., Narvhus, J.A., 2000. Enumeration and identification of yeasts isolated from

Zimbabwean traditional fermented milk International Dairy Journal. 10, 459-466.

Gao, Y., Li, D., Liu, X., 2013. Evaluation of the factors affecting the activity of sakacin C2 against E. coli in milk. Food

Control, 30, 453-458.

Gerhardt, P., Murray, R.G.E., Costilow, R.N., Nester, E.W., Wood, W.A., Krig, N.R., Phillips, G.B., 1981. Manual of

Methods for General Bacteriology. American Society for Microbiology, Washington, DC.

Harrigan, W.F., McCance, M.E., 1986. Laboratory methods in food and dairy microbiology. London: Academic


Huang, L.S., Weng, Y.M., Chidu, R.Y.Y., 2001. Survival of Staphylococcus aureus and Escherichia coli as affected by

ethanol and NaCl. Journal of Food Protection 64, 546-550

Isono, Y., Shingu, I., Shimizu, S., 2001. Identification and characteristics of lactic acid bacteria isolated from Maasai

fermented milk in northern Tanzania. Bioscience, Biotechnology, and Biochemistry. 58, 660-664.

Kurmann, J.A., Rasic, J.L., Kroger, M., 1992. Encyclopedia of Fermented Fresh Milk Products: An International

Inventory of fermented milk, cream, butter whey, and related products. Library of congress catalog card

number 91-30210, USA.

Lahtinen, S.J., Jalonen, L., Ouwehand, A.C., Salminen., 2007. Specific Bifidobacterium strains isolated from elderly

subjects inhibit growth of Staphylococcus aureus. International Journal of Food Microbiology, 117, 125-128.

Makras, L., De Vuys, L., 2006. The in vitro inhibition of Gram-negative pathogenic bacteria by bifidobacteria is

caused by the production of organic acids. International Dairy Journal 16, 1049-1057.

Mathara, J.M., Schillinger, U., Kutima, M.P., Mbugua, S.K., Holzapfel, W.H., 2004. Isolation, identification and

characterisation of the dominant microorganisms of kule naoto: the Maasai traditional fermented milk in

Kenya. International Journal of Food Microbiology. 94, 269-278.

Mohammed, M., Abd El-Aziz, H., Omran, N., Anwar., Awad, S., El-Soda, M., 2000. Rep-PCR characterization and

biochemical selection of lactic acid bacteria isolated from the Delta area of Egypt. International journal of

Food Microbiology. 128(3), 417-23.

Montet, M.P., Christieans, S., Thevenot, D., Coppet, V., Ganet, S., Muller, M.L.D., Duiere, L., Vemozy-Rozand, C.,

Fate of acid-resistant and non-acid resistant Shiga toxin producing. International Journal of Food

Microbiology, 129, 264-270..

Morcos, S.R., Hegazi, S.M., El-Damhougy, S.T., 1973. Fermented foods in common use in Egypt. I. The nutritive

value of kishk. J Sci Food Agric 24, 1153–6.

Mufandaedza, J., Viljoen, B.C., Feresu, S.B., Gadaga, T.H., 2006. Antimicrobial properties of lactic acid bacteria and

yeast-LAB cultures isolated from traditional fermented milk against pathogenic Escherichia coli O157:H7 and

Salmonella enteritidis strains. International Journal of Food Microbiology 108:147-152.

Nahvi, I., Moeini, H., 2004. Isolation and identification of yeast strains with high Beta-galactosidase activity from

dairy products. Biotechnology, 3(1), 35-40.

Obodai, M., Dodd, C.E.R., 2005. Characterization of dominant microbiota of a Ghanaian fermented milk product,

nyarmie, by culture- and non-culture-based methods. Journal of Applied Microbiology. ISSN, 1364-5072.

Odunfa, S.A., 1985. African Fermented Foods. In: Wood, B. J. B. (ed.) Microbiology of Fermented Foods, 1985,vol.

, Elsevier Applied Science Publishers, London & New York (cited by FAO, 1999 Fermented cereals, a global

perspective. FAO agriculture services bulletin. 138 ).

Ouwehand, A.C., Vesterlund, S., 2004. Antimicrobial components from lactic acid bacteria. In Salminen, S.,

VonWright, A., Ouwehand, A. (Eds). Lactic Acid Bacteria Microbiological and Functional Aspects, p. 375–395.

New York: Marcel Dekker, Inc.

Ross, R.P., Morgan, S., Hill, C., 2002. Preservation and fermentation: past, present and future. International Journal

of Food Microbiology. 79, 3-16.

Roy, D., Sirois, S., Vincent, D., 2001 Molecular discrimination of lactobacilli used as starter and probiotic cultures

by amplified ribosomal DNA restriction analysis, Curr. Microbiol. 42: 282-289.

Sarika, A.R., Lipton, A.P., Aishwarya, M.S., 2010. Bacteriocin Production by a New Isolate of Lactobacillus

rhamnosus GP1 under Different Culture Conditions. Advance Journal of Food Science and Technology, 2(5),


Savadogo, A., Ouattara, A.T., Savadogo, W., Baro, O., Aboubacar, S., Traore, S., 2004. Microorganism involved in

Fulani fermented milk in Burkina Faso. Pakistan Journal of Nutrition. 3, 134-139.

Skovgaard, N. (2007). New trends in emerging pathogens. International Journal of Food Microbiology, 120, 217-

Soliman, N.S., Aly, S.A., 2011. Occurrence and identification of yeast species isolated from Egyptian Karish cheese.

Journal of Yeast and Fungal Research, 2(4), 59-64.

Suganya, K., Murugan, T., Murugan, M., 2013. Isolation and characterization of probiotic lactic acid bacteria from

milk and curd samples. International Journal of Pharma and Bio Sciences, 4(1), (B) 317 - 324

Tagg, J.R., McGiven, A.R., 1971. Assay system for bacteriocins. Applied Microbiology, 21, 943.

Tamime, A.Y., O’Connor, T.P., 1995. Kishk-a dried fermented milk/cereal mixture. Int Dairy J 5,109–28.

Tsegaye, M., Ashenafi, M., 2005. Fate of Escherichia coli O157:H7 during the processing and storage of Ergo and

Ayib, traditional Ethiopian dairy products. International Journal of Food Microbiology 103, 11- 21.

Tsegaye, M., Ephraim, E., Ashenafi, M., 2004. Behavior of Escherichia coli O157:H7 during the fermentation of

Datta and Awaze, traditional Ethiopian fermented condiments, and during product storage at ambient and

refrigeration temperatures. Food Microbiology 21, 743-751.



How to Cite

A. Saleh, F. . (2013). Isolation and identification of microorganisms and antibacterial activity of Laban Zeer, an Egyptian traditional fermented milk product. Scientific Journal of Microbiology, 2(2), 31-42. Retrieved from



Original Article