Study of the Microbial and Chemical Properties of Goat Milk Kefir Produced by Inoculation with Taiwanese Kefir Grains

  • Chen, Ming-Ju (Department of Animal Science, National Taiwan University) ;
  • Liu, Je-Ruei (Institute of BioAgricultural Sciences, Academia Sinica) ;
  • Lin, Chin-Wen (Department of Animal Science, National Taiwan University) ;
  • Yeh, Yu-Tzu (Department of Animal Science, National Taiwan University)
  • Received : 2004.09.22
  • Accepted : 2004.12.02
  • Published : 2005.05.01


One of the prerequisites for the successful implementation of industrial-scale goat kefir production is to understand the effects of different kefir grains and culture conditions on the microbial and chemical properties of the goat kefir. Thus, the objectives of the present study were to evaluate the characteristics of kefir grains in Taiwan on the microbial and chemical properties of goat milk kefir, as well as to understand the influence of culture conditions on production of medium chain-length triglycerides (MCT). Kefir grains were collected from households in northern Taiwan. Heat-treated goat milk was inoculated with 3-5% (V/W) kefir grains incubated at 15, 17.5, 20 or 22.5$^{\circ}C$ for 20 h, and the microflora count, ethanol content, and caproic (C6), caprylic (C8), and capric acid (C10) levels measured at 4 h intervals. Our results indicate that incubation with kefir grains results in 10$^6$-10$^7$ CFU/ml microflora count and 1.18 g/L of ethanol content at 20 h of fermentation. Incubation with 5% kefir grain at 20-22.5$^{\circ}C$ produces the highest MCT levels.


Supported by : National Science Council


  1. Babayan, V. K. 1981. Medium chain length fatty acid esters and their medical and nutritional applications. J. Amer. Oil Chem. Soc. 59:49-50A.
  2. Chen, M. J., K. N. Chen and C. W. Lin. 2004. Optimization of the viability of probiotics in a fermented milk drink by the response surface model. Asian-Aust. J. Anim. Sci. 17(5):705-711.
  3. Ham, J. S., J. S. Kim, K. H. Hoog, J. G. Kim, S. G. Jeong, H. S. Dhae, J. N. Ahn, D. K. Kang and H. U. Kim. 2003. Inhibitory activity of lactic acid bacteria against hazardous microbes. Asian-Aust. J. Anim. Sci. 16:1550-1554.
  4. Kwak, H. S., S. K. Park and D. S. Kim. 1996. Biostabillzation of kefir with a nonlactose-fermenting yeast. J. Dairy Sci. 79:937-942.
  5. White, R. P., G. F. Ricca, A. M. El-Bauomy and J. T. Robertson. 1991. Identification of capric acid as a potent vasorelaxant of human basilar arteries. Stroke 22:469-476.
  6. Rahmat, A. and R. Richter. 1996. Formation of volatile free fatty acids during ripening of cheddar-like goat cheese, J. Dairy Sci. 79:717-724.
  7. Schoevers, A. and T. J. Britz. 2003. Invluence of different culturing conditions on kefir grain increase. Intern. J. Dairy Technol. 56:183-187.
  8. Vedamuthu, E. R. 1977. Exotic fermented dairy foods. J. Food Prot. 40:801-802.
  9. Chen, M. J., K. N. Chen and C. W. Lin. 2003. Optimization of the Growth Rate of Probiotics in Fermented Milk Using Genetic Algorithms and Sequential Quadratic Programming Techniques. Asian-Aust. J. Anim. Sci. 16(6):894-912
  10. Kalser, M. H. 1971. Medium chain triglycerides. Adv. Intern. Med. 17:301-322.
  11. Kroger, M. 1993. Kefir. Cult. Dairy Prod. J. 28:26-29.
  12. Simova, E., D. Beshkova, A. Angelov, Ts. Hristozova, G. Fregova and Z. Spasov. 2002. Lactic acid bacteria and yeasts in kefir grains and kefir made from them. J. Indust. Microbiol. Biotechnol. 28:1-6.
  13. Dunlop, R. H. 1967. Pathogenesis of ruminant lactic acidosis. Proc. 18th World Vet. Congress 1:259-301.
  14. Haenlein, G. F. W. 1992. Role of goat meat and milk in human nutrition. Proc. Vth Intern. Conf. Goats, New Delhi, India, ICAR, II(2):575-580.
  15. Grappin, R. and E. Beuvier. 1990. Possible implications of milk pasteurization on the manufacture and sensory quality of ripened cheese. Intern. Dairy J. 751-761.
  16. Choi, J. W. and K. F. Ng-Kwai-Hang. 2003. Effects of genetic variants of K-casein and B-Lactoglobulin and heat treatment on coagulating properties of milk. Asian-Aust. J. Anim. Sci. 16 (10):1212-1217.
  17. Lin, C. W., H. L. Chen and J. R. Liu. 1999. Identification and characterization of lactic acid bacteria and yeasts isolated from kefir grains in Taiwan. Aust. J. Dairy Technol. 54:14-18.
  18. Kurmann, J. A., J. Lj. Rasic and M. Kroger. 1992. Encyclopedia of fermented fresh milk products. New York: Van Nostrand Reinhold.
  19. Bottazi, V. and F. Bianchi. 1980. A note on scanning electron microscopy of micro-organisms associated with the kefir granule. J. Appl. Bacteriol. 48:265-268.
  20. Hertzler, S. R. and S. M. Clancy. 2003. Kefir improves lactose digestion and tolerance in adults with lactose maldigestion. J. Am. Diet Assoc. 103:582-587.
  21. Kuo, C. Y. and C. W. Lin. 1999. Taiwanese kefir grains: their growth, microbial and chemical composition of fermented milk. Aust. J. Dairy Technol. 54:19-22.
  22. Nutting, C. W., S. Islam and J. T. Daugirdas. 1991. Vasorelaxant effects of short chain fatty acid salts in rat caudal artery. Am. J. Physiol. 261:H561-567.
  23. Shantha, N. C., L. N. Ram, J. O’Leary, C. L. Hicks and E. A. Decker. 1995. Conjugated linoleic acid concentrations in dairy products as affected by processing and storage. J. Food Sci. 60:695-697.
  24. Noll, F. 1974. L-(+)-Lactate: determination with LDH, GPT, and NAD. In: (Ed. H. U. Bergmeyer). Methods of Enzymatic Analysis. 2nd ed. pp. 1475-1479. Verlag Chemie Weinheim/Academic Press, Inc., New York, San Francisco, and London.

Cited by

  1. Sequencing-Based Analysis of the Bacterial and Fungal Composition of Kefir Grains and Milks from Multiple Sources vol.8, pp.7, 2013,
  2. Comparative study of microbiological, chemical and sensory properties of kefirs produced in Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania vol.83, pp.01, 2016,
  3. Short communication: The effects of frozen storage on the survival of probiotic microorganisms found in traditionally and commercially manufactured kefir vol.99, pp.9, 2016,