This study aimed to isolate lactic acid bacteria from Halloumi cheese produced by Mazaarat Artisan cheese Indonesia, to evaluate its potential as a probiotics, and to identify it based on molecular characteristics. The lactic acid bacteria were isolated from fresh milk, curd, and the Halloumi cheese and their morphology and physiology were identified. Screening of the lactic acid bacteria isolates for probiotics candidates was mainly based on the resistance of simulated gastric juice, bile salts, antibacterial activities against pathogens, and the adhesion properties by hydrophobicity test. The selected lactic acid bacteria strains as probiotics candidates were then identified molecularly using 16 S ribosomal RNA. From this study, 13 lactic acid bacteria isolates were obtained. Among the 13 isolates, K3 isolate was the most potent as a probiotics candidate. This isolate had high tolerance for simulated gastric juice and bile salts, good ability to protect the gut against pathogenic bacteria since it has antibacterial activities and had ability to adhere to human epithelial cells. Based on molecular identification, this probiotics candidate was identified as Lactobacillus plantarum.
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