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The present study aimed to provide scientific information for the effect of somatic cells count (SCC) of raw cow milk on the fermentation process and quality characteristics of ayran. Test ayran samples were produced from three different batches of cow milk with low (<400,000 cells.cm-3), medium (between 500,000 and 600,000 cells.cm-3) and high (1000,000 cells.cm-3) SCC, respectively. The main physicochemical parameters as pH, total solids, milk fat, protein, lactose, lactic acid content and microbiological parameters as somatic cells count (SCC) and total viable count (TVC) of raw milk and ayran samples were studied. During the first coagulation stages, the higher SCC in the milk seems to have an inhibiting effect on the development of the lactic acid bacteria from the starter culture and on the fermentation process, respectively. Nevertheless, SCC of the raw milk did not have a significant effect on the composition of the ayran. The increase in the SCC values up to 1000,000 cells.cm-3 in the raw cow’s milk affected negatively the organoleptic characteristics of the ayran made from it. Practical applications:The knowledge for the effect of SCC of raw caw milk on the fermentation process allows us to optimize the technology parameters for production of ayran and to improve its quality characteristics. The data from sensory analysis of ayran samples produced by milks with different SCC will provide additional information for the importans of the implementation of the monitoring of somatic cells in raw caw milk quality control.
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