Active dry yeast (ADY) products are commonly fed in the dairy industry, but research regarding quality control for such products is limited. The objectives of this study were to determine yeast viability in field samples relative to manufacturers' guarantees (experiment 1), measure the effects of high-temperature storage on yeast viability (experiment 1), and determine the effect of vitamin-trace mineral (VTM) premix on yeast viability (experiment 2). Commercially available ADY products were acquired in triplicate through normal distribution channels and stored at 4°C upon receipt. Initial samples were evaluated for colony-forming units and compared with product label guarantees. Only 1 of the 6 products sampled in experiment 1 met product guarantees for all 3 samples. To determine effects of storage temperature and duration on viability, ADY samples were stored in an incubator at 40°C with ambient humidity for 1, 2, and 3 mo. High-temperature storage significantly decreased viability over the 3-mo period; approximately 90% of viable cells were lost each month. Three of the 5 products sampled in experiment 2 met product guarantees. Fresh samples of 4 of these 5 ADY products were mixed in duplicate with ground corn (GC) or a VTM premix to achieve a target concentration of 2.2×10(8) cfu/g. For each product, GC and VTM samples were stored at ambient temperature (22°C) and at an elevated temperature (40°C) for 2 wk. No differences in viable yeast count were observed between GC and VTM samples immediately after mixing or after storage at ambient temperature. Yeast viability in GC and VTM samples decreased during storage at an elevated temperature. There also was a significant interaction of diluent and storage temperature; VTM samples had higher cell viability than GC samples when subjected to high-temperature storage. Results suggest that (1) ADY products failed to consistently meet product guarantees; (2) viability of ADY products was greatly diminished during storage at 40°C for 2 wk; and (3) the loss in viability at elevated temperatures may be attenuated when ADY products are diluted with a premix containing VTM.
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