AFRICAN JOURNAL OF BIOTECHNOLOGY, cilt.5, ss.1411-1414, 2006 (SCI İndekslerine Giren Dergi)
The levels of nitrate and nitrite were determined in 185 samples of Turkish cheese having high consumption rate. All cheese samples contained nitrate and its level in Turkish white cheese produced from cow's and sheep's milk were found between 0.92 - 22.40 (mean 8.96 +/- 4.93) mg/kg and 0.47 - 23.68 (mean 12.35 +/- 6.28) mg/kg, respectively. Nitrate level in fresh kasar cheese and mature kasar cheese samples were 0.68 - 17.19 (mean 8.97 +/- 5.03) mg/kg and 1.76 - 13.31 (mean 9.45 +/- 4.03) mg/kg, respectively. Nitrite was detected 88.11% of cheese samples and mean nitrite values were found between 0.88- 1.64 mg/ kg. The highest levels of nitrate and nitrite were determined in the Turkish white cheese samples produced from sheep's milk. The nitrate content of the examined samples of Turkish cheese could be attributed to both external sources such as contamination by nitrate fertilizers, forage, and agricultural drinking water and addition of nitrate to the cheese milk. It is suggested that stricter control of nitrate in cheese is necessary, and that it should not be used to mask poor hygienic conditions during manufacturing. Hygienic condition must be kept at excellent level in related industries.