Reducing salt levels in Irish Cheddar cheese causes quality defects
Researchers demonstrated that a range of quality defects increased in Cheddar cheese when salt levels were reduced significantly. Their study showed that lower-salt (0.5 to 1.25 percent) cheeses ripened too quickly and caused them to develop mushy texture and off-flavors.
Controlling brown coloring in aged Parmesan cheese
Researchers at the University of Wisconsin-Madison uncovered evidence indicating that an undesirable brown color formation in Parmesan starts with a chemical known as methylglyoxal. Methylglyoxal is produced by some starter strains and nonstarter bacteria during lactose fermentation.
Queso fresco cheese requires special care to reduce food safety risks
Researchers at the USDA Agricultural Research Center demonstrated that queso fresco remains at high risk for foodborne contamination. This study indicates that manufacturers treat the cheese with a food-grade antimicrobial or use high-pressure processing to inhibit the organisms from growing during storage.
Color of low-fat cheese affects consumer liking and taste
Consumers will accept less fat in cheese if its visual appeal is similar to full-fat products. Use of a mixture of titanium dioxide and annatto cheese colors with low-fat Cheddar cheese improved its appearance while neither was as desirable separately.
New rapid method to determine sodium in dairy products proposed
Italian researchers have developed a new method for determining the amount of sodium in dairy products based on capillary electrophoresis techniques. The proposed method should take less than 30 minutes per sample, making it a relatively quick testing procedure that can differentiate between cations.
Salt whey used to produce new process cheese product
Researchers at South Dakota State University found an innovative process to recycle salt whey, the byproduct released during cheese pressing, back into cheese products. They modified a formulation for process cheese product by replacing salt with salt whey and by using a young exopolysaccharide (EPS) Cheddar as the base cheese.
Manufacture of reduced-sodium process cheeses using potassium phosphates
Researchers from the Max Rubner-Institut in Germany have developed lower-sodium process cheese by replacing some sodium-containing emulsifying salts with potassium and using a reduced-sodium Cheddar cheese as the base. Their top three formulations contained less than 1 percent emulsifying salts.
Low-salt Cheddar cheese does not support growth of Salmonella
New research shows that low-sodium Cheddar cheese does not allow Salmonella to grow, but the bacteria’s survival is longer than in traditional cheese. Cheddar cheese can have up to 61 percent less salt and still produce enough lactic acid to kill Salmonella, but salt speeds the reduction.
New research on reducing calcium lactate crystals in cheese
Calcium lactate crystals appear on the outside of cheese as a white haze and often are mistaken for mold by consumers. Investigators created model systems with 5.3 percent calcium lactate and varying concentrations of sodium gluconate, which is known to prevent calcium lactate crystals.
Listeria survival similar in low- and regular-salted Cheddar cheese
Salt, pH and lactic acid content represent some of the multiple hurdles contributing to the microbiological safety of traditional cheeses. Public health officials’ desire to reduce sodium in the diet has resulted in concern about the possible effect on the microbiological safety of low-sodium cheese.
Cheese manufactured at higher temperatures retains less fat
The desire for faster cheese manufacturing and the use of mixed Streptococcus/Lactococcus cultures have resulted in higher set temperatures, which also can result in lower yield. Investigators from Australia created cheeses that were set at different temperatures but had the same gel strength at cut by varying the time to cut.
Non-starter bacteria needed for Hispanic cheese manufacturing identified
Hispanic-style cuisine continues to grow in popularity in the United Sates, with Hispanic-style cheeses serving as a key ingredient. Chihuahua cheese, or Queso Menonita, is a popular Hispanic cheese traditionally made in Mexico that has a unique tangy flavor different from that of Cheddar.
Probiotics survive for one year in Cheddar cheese
New research documents an effective method of adding bifidobacteria into Cheddar cheese. Interest in bifidobacteria has grown in recent years due to numerous health claims regarding bifidobacteria and a healthy microbiota.
Understanding cheese formulation change risks is critical to providing safe products
New research from the University of Minnesota shows that replacing sodium chloride with potassium chloride (a salt substitute) or just lowering the sodium chloride content did not significantly alter the survival of the post-manufacture inoculation of Listeria monocytogenes. Although the Listeria did die slowly, this study demonstrates the importance of using good manufacturing practices in all processes used to manufacture, shred, slice and package cheese that is safe for consumers.