Effect of Cephalosporin Antibiotics on the Activity of Yoghurt Cultures

Foods. 2022 Sep 7;11(18):2751. doi: 10.3390/foods11182751.


The presence of antibiotics in milk is a significant problem affecting the technological safety of dairy products. The aim of the study was to determine the sensitivity of yoghurt cultures to residual levels of selected cephalosporin antibiotics (cephalexin, cefoperazone, cefquinome, cefazolin, and ceftiofur). Five yoghurt cultures were selected containing strains of Lactobacillus delbrueckii subsp. bulgaricus and Streptococcus thermophilus. Artificially fortified milk samples (whole pasteurized milk; 85 °C; 3−5 s) with cephalosporins at a concentration of the maximum residue limit were used to evaluate the sensitivity of the yoghurt cultures by monitoring the pH, titratable acidity, and the concentration of selected organic acids (lactic, pyruvic, citric, acetic, orotic, oxalic, formic, uric, and succinic acids) at the end of fermentation (43 °C; 4−5.5 h; pH ≤ 4.6). The titratable acidity was determined by the Soxhlet−Henkel method and the organic acid concentration was monitored by reversed-phase HPLC. Ceftiofur had the greatest effect on the yoghurt culture activity, with a statistically highly significant effect (p < 0.05) on the pH, titratable acidity, and the content of lactic, pyruvic, and acetic acids in all cultures. Other cephalosporins also showed an inhibitory effect on yoghurt metabolism as seen by the evaluation of the lactic and pyruvic acid concentrations.

Keywords: antibiotics; cephalosporin’s; dairy cultures; fermentation process; maximum residue limit.