Low fat cheeses (less than 3 g fat/50 g of cheese) suffer from texture defects not apparent
in full fat cheese. Polysaccharides have been added to reduced fat cheeses with the goal
of replacing the properties fat provides. The goal of this research is to evaluate the
incorporation of polysaccharides as a filler gel into the cream portion of cheese milk used
to make low-fat Cheddar cheese as a way to improve the texture of the cheese by
mimicking the gel-filling property of fat. Five different hydrocolloids were evaluated for
incorporation into a filler gel that was added to the cream required to make a 0.5% fat
cheese milk, a portion of the skim milk and homogenized. Hydrocolloids evaluated were
alginate, xanthan gum pectin, carrageen and Novagel RCN 15 (microcrystalline cellulose
and guar gum). The hydrocolloids were mixed with water and a whey protein concentrate
(Avonlac 180) that contains a high level of milk fat globule membrane on a high shear
mixer. The gel was mixed with the total amount of cream, and an amount of skim which created a blend that was 20% of the total cheese milk. This blend was homogenized on a
two-stage Niro Panda homogenizer at 160 bar (1st: stage 110 bar; 2nd stage: 50 bar).
Cheese was made in 10 Kg lab scale batches using a modified low-fat Cheddar stirred
curd procedure with pre-acidification of the cheese milk to pH 6.2. Cheese was pressed
in small Wilson-style hoops with 40 pounds of pressure. The cheese was evaluated by
instructing untrained panelists to place coded samples of cheese (which also contained
low and full-fat control) on an unanchored 24 x 24 inch sheet of paper, spatially relative
to each other based on flavor and texture differences. All samples were analyzed on a
TAXT-Plus Texture analyzer by texture profile analysis. Novagel and Pectin containing samples most approximated the texture of full-fat Cheddar and were selected for pilot
scale processing. Cheese was then made in 1200 pounds batches using the procedure
described. Samples were analyzed throughout aging for texture, proteolysis, and organic
acids. Descriptive sensory analysis and microscopic evaluation by confocal scanning
laser microscopy were conducted at the end of shelf-life. Low fat cheese treated with
Novagel and Pectin did not show differences in descriptive sensory analysis. There were
no differences in firmness score analyzed by TPA between the treatments however; low
fat cheese containing whey protein concentrate had more resilient, gummy and chewy
texture. None of the treatments showed any differences in age related proteolysis compared to low fat cheese and full fat cheese. All low fat cheeses were found different
(P<0.05) in organic acids content compared to full fat cheese. Pectin treated cheeses had
the highest level of lactic acid and Novagel treated cheese had the highest formic acid.
Microstructural examination through confocal microscopy indicated that pectin and
Novagel were most likely retained in the treatment cheeses. This study describes an effort
made to improve low fat Cheddar cheese in bench top and pilot scale production by
addition of different hydrocolloids.
University of Minnesota M.S. thesis. June 2012. Major: food Science. Advisor Tonya C. Schoenfuss. i computer file (PDF); xi, 124 pages, appendices A-C.
An investigation into improvement of low fat cheddar cheese by the addidtion of hydrocolloids.
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