This study was designed to identify the yeasts in packaged and unpackaged butters and screen antiyeast activity of spices, including marjoram (Origanum majorana L.), summer savory (Satureja hortensis L.), and black cumin (Nigella sativa L.) against the most dominant yeast species in the packaged and unpackaged butters. Mean total yeast populations were 5.40 log CFU/g in unpackaged butter samples and 2.22 log CFU/g in packaged butter samples, indicating better hygienic quality of packaged samples. Forty-nine yeast species were isolated and identified from butter samples with the most prevalent isolates belonging to genera Candida-C. kefyr, C. zeylanoides, and C. lambica-and with moderate number of isolates belonging to genera Cryptococcus, Rhodotorula, Saccharomyces, and Zygosaccharomyces. Black cumin exhibited the highest antiyeast activity against C. zeylanoides and C. lambica species, even inhibited these species, while summer savory inhibited C. kefyr. The results of this study revealed clear antimicrobial potential of black cumin against the yeast species isolated from butters. Marjoram, summer savory, and black cumin could be used as natural antimicrobial agents against spoilage yeasts in food preservation, especially in butter.
© 2010 Institute of Food Technologists®