Microbiological and Chemical Characterization of Halvi, a Traditional Iranian Dairy Product Made from Sheep Milk

Document Type : Research Paper


Department of Food Hygiene, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran


Introduction: Halvi is a traditional dairy product made from sheep milk in Mazandaran province, especially in the mountainous areas of Noor and Kojur. The fungus used in the preparation of Halvi is Auricularia auricula-judae. The present study aimed to investigate the chemical composition and microbiological properties of Halvi samples produced in various regions in Noor city, Iran. Methods: In total, 42 Halvi samples were collected from various regions in Noor, including Chamestan (n=30), central Noor (n=8), and Baladeh (n=4), for the evaluation the chemical (protein, fat content, dry matter, ash, and pH) and microbiological analysis (aerobic plate count, coliform, molds and yeasts, Staphylococcus aureus, and Escherichia coli). Results: The microbiological results indicated that the samples collected from Chamestan had the highest count of aerobic mesophilic bacteria (6.4 log CFU/g). On the other hand, the samples collected from Chamestan and central Noor were more contaminated with coliform bacteria and yeast and mold compared to the samples collected from Baladeh. Moreover, S. aureus and E. coli were detected in 66.16% and 5.9% of the samples, respectively. The mean pH and protein, fat, ash, and dry matter content of the samples was 6.71, 6.84%, 8.87%, 1.42%, and 21.67%, respectively. Conclusion: According to the results, contamination with the mentioned pathogens indicates stricter control and proper measures during the preparation of Halvi.


1. Balthazar CF, Pimentel TC, Ferrão LL, Almada CN, Santillo A, Albenzio M, et al. Sheep Milk: Physicochemical Characteristics and Relevance for Functional Food Development. Compr Rev Food Sci Food Saf. 2017; 16(2): 247–62.
2. Park YW, Juárez M, Ramos M, Haenlein GFW. Physico-chemical characteristics of goat and sheep milk. Small Rumin Res. 2007; 68(1): 88–113.
3. Milani FX, Wendorff WL. Goat and sheep milk products in the United States (USA). Small Rumin Res. 2011; 101(1-3): 134–9.
4. Barłowska J, Szwajkowska M, Litwińczuk Z, Król J. Nutritional Value and Technological Suitability of Milk from Various Animal Species Used for Dairy Production. Compr Rev Food Sci Food Saf. 2011; 10(6): 291–302.
5. Dias M de LLA, Salgado SM, Guerra NB, Livera AVS, Andrade SAC, Ximenes GN da C. Phisicochemical, sensory, and microbiological evaluation and development of symbiotic fermented drink. Food Sci Technol. 2013; 33(4): 805–11.
6. Aygun O, Aslantas O, Oner S. A survey on the microbiological quality of Carra, a traditional Turkish cheese. J Food Eng. 2005; 66(3): 401–4.
7. Sengul M, Ertugay MF. Microbiological and Chemical Properties of Cheese Helva Produced in Turkey. Int J Food Prop. 2006; 9(2): 185–93.
8. Cakmakci S, Hayaloglu A. Evaluation of the chemical, microbiological and volatile aroma characteristics of Ispir Kaymak, a traditional Turkish dairy product. Int J Dairy Technol. 2011; 64(3): 444–50.
9. Hajimohamadi Farimani R, Habibi Najafi MB, Fazli Bazaz S. Chemical and microbiological characteristics of traditional yogurts produced by nomads in khorasan-e-razavi. Journal of Food Microbiology. 2017; 3(4): 29–38.
10. Aly SA, Galal EA, Elewa NA. Carrot Yoghurt : Sensory, Chemical, Microbiological Properties and Consumer Acceptance. Pak J Nutr. 2004; 3(6): 322–30.
11. INSO. Iranian National Standards Organization.No. 2406 Milk and dairy products; Microbiological properties. Tehran: National Standard of Iran Publication; [Persian]. 2002.
12. Martin NH, Trmcic A, Hsieh TH, Boor KJ, Wiedmann M. The evolving role of coliforms as indicators of unhygienic processing conditions in dairy foods. Front Microbiol. 2016; 7: 1549.
13. Mirzaei H, Ghiasi Khosroshahi A, Karim G. The Microbiological and Chemical Quality of Traditional Lighvan Cheese (White Cheese in Brine) Produced in Tabriz, Iran. J Anim Vet Adv. 2008; 7(12): 1594–9.
14. Shadan M, Khoushabi F. A study of microbial contamination of Zahedan traditional cheeses. Zahedan Journal of Research in Medical Sciences. 2002; 4(1): 9–15. 
Volume 7, Issue 2
June 2019
Pages 110-115
  • Receive Date: 18 April 2019
  • Revise Date: 10 May 2019
  • Accept Date: 15 May 2019
  • First Publish Date: 01 June 2019