A comparative assessment of the the nutritional contents of 'wara' a west African soft cheese using Calotropis procera and Cymbopogon citratus as coagulants

  • VO Adetunji
  • OO Babalobi
Keywords: Cheese, Calotropis procera, Cymbopogon citratus, nutritional, aerobic


The processing line of West African soft cheese varieties (processed with Calotropis procera (Sodom apple) and Cymbopogon citratus (lemon grass) leaf extracts was assessed for nutrient compositions (nitrogen, crude protein, fat, lactose, moisture content), pH, total aerobic plate count and trace elements (Fe, Zn, Cu, Mn, Na, Ca, Mg and K). The percentage of nutrient composition, pH and the total aerobic plate count of microbes were: milk (nitrogen (2.05), protein (2.78), fat (5.33), lactose (1.86), moisture contents (88.75), pH (3.91) and total aerobic plate count (7.3logcfu/ml); Calotropis procera processed cheese (nitrogen (2.00), protein (2.56), fat (4.43), lactose (1.72), moisture contents (62.89), pH (3.58) and total aerobic plate count (7.34logcfu/ml); Cymbopogon citratus processed cheese (nitrogen (2.01), protein (2.53), fat (4.33), lactose (1.68), moisture contents (63.56), pH ( 3.56) and total aerobic plate count (7.43 logcfu/ml). There were significant differences between the parameters measured in the raw milk and processed cheese at 95% confidence limit. However, the parameters measured varied slightly in the two cheese varieties (Calotropis procera and Cymbopogon citratus). The total aerobic plate counts in milk and cheese were higher than international standards set by Codex alimentarius. Addition of leave extracts (Calotropis procera and Cymbopogon citratus) increased the total aerobic plate counts but the counts dropped at the curdling point during processing. Cymbopogon citratus cheese had a higher total aerobic plate count than the Calotropis procera cheese although not at a significant level. There was an increase in Fe, Zn, Cu and Na along the processing line, but a decrease ensued in Mn, Ca, Mg and K. There was no significant difference in the Zn, Cu, Mn, Ca, Mg, K, N, protein, fat and lactose contents of the two cheese types although all trace elements and nutrients assayed were higher in the Calotropis procera processed cheese with the exception of Fe content. The study suggests the use of Cymbopogon citratus leaf extract as a local milk coagulant due to reports of probable health hazard from the use of C. procera. However, further work on improving the yield of cheese when Cymbopogon citratus is used as coagulant is still necessary.

Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 1684-5374
print ISSN: 1684-5358