Functionalization of Ricotta cheese with powder of spirulina platensis: physicochemical, sensory, and microbiological properties

Hesham A. Ismail, Talaat H. El-Sawah, Mutamed Ayyash, Benu Adhikari, Wael F. Elkot

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The microalga Spirulina platensis is recognized for its high nutritional value, particularly in terms of protein and bioactive compounds, and can be used to produce functional foods. The aim of this study was to develop a novel functional Ricotta cheese fortified with different amounts of spirulina powder (SRC) (0.25 , 0.5, 0.75, and 1.0) g/100 g cheese and to evaluate the effects on the cheese’s physicochemical, sensorial, and microbiological properties over a 21- day storage period at 5°C. Spirulina platensis had 70.4, 5.02, 6.77, 5.43, and 12.06 g/100 g (as drymatter) for protein, lipids, ash, fiber, and carbohydrate, respectively. It also had a high concentration of bioactive compounds, including 240.50 mg (as Gallic acid equivalents/100 g) of phenolic compounds and 30.79 mg/100 g of β-carotene. Ricotta cheese fortified with spirulina powder had a significant increase in protein, fat, ash, fibers, carbohydrates, and mineral contents. The total phenols, β-carotene, and 2,2-Diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl scavenging capacity of SRC also increased when compared with control. The textural properties of SRC cheese were improved, and it exhibited a more attractive color and desirable microstructure. The number of aerobic bacteria increased in SRC cheese, while no yeasts or mold were detected in all fresh cheese samples, but they appeared on the 14th day for the control sample and on the 21st day for the Ricotta cheese fortified with spirulina powder sample. Coliform bacterial cells were not observed in all fresh cheese or during storage. The addition of 0.75 g/100 g dry-solids SPP is found to be optimum in terms of color and other sensorial properties.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1968-1983
Number of pages16
JournalInternational Journal of Food Properties
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2023


  • functional ricotta cheese
  • microstructure
  • nutritional value
  • sensory profile
  • Spirulina platensis
  • texture profile

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science


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