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Keywords:

  • Biochemical parameter;
  • dairy foods;
  • gum blend behaviour;
  • kefiran;
  • mechanical spectra;
  • storage and loss moduli

The native bacteria and yeasts present in Portuguese kefir grains stored under four distinct sets of environmental conditions have been isolated and identified on the basis of morphology and biochemical tests. The microbial population of the kefir grains as a whole has been characterized in terms of rates of biomass production and formation of lactic acid and ethanol. The rheological properties of the purified polysaccharide (kefiran) produced by the microflora of the grains and accumulated therein were studied in a low water activity solvent and as a component of a binary gel containing either κ-carrageenan or xanthan gum.