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In cheese, a negative oxidation-reduction (redox) potential is required for the stability of aroma, especially that associated with volatile sulphur compounds. To control the redox potential during ripening, redox agents were added to the salted curd of Cheddar cheese before pressing. The control cheese contained only salt, while different oxidising or reducing agents were added with the NaCl to the experimental cheeses. KIO3 (at 0·05, 0·1 and 1%, w/w) was used as the oxidising agent while cysteine (at 2%, w/w) and Na2S2O4 (at 0·05 and 0·1%, w/w) were used as reducing agents. During ripening the redox potential of the cheeses made with the reducing agents did not differ significantly from the control cheese (Eh ≈ −120 mV) while the cheeses made with 0·1 and 0·05% KIO3 had a significantly higher and positive redox potential in the first month of ripening. Cheese made with 1% KIO3 had positive values of redox potential throughout ripening but no starter lactic acid bacteria survived in this cheese; however, numbers of starter organisms in all other cheeses were similar. Principal component analysis (PCA) of the volatile compounds clearly separated the cheeses made with the reducing agents from cheeses made with the oxidising agents at 2 month of ripening. Cheeses with reducing agents were characterized by the presence of sulphur compounds whereas cheeses made with KIO3 were characterized mainly by aldehydes. At 6 month of ripening, separation by PCA was less evident. These findings support the hypothesis that redox potential could be controlled during ripening and that this parameter has an influence on the development of cheese flavour.
The total calcium content of cheese, along with changes in the equilibrium between soluble and casein (CN)-bound calcium during ripening can have a major impact on its rheological, functional and textural properties; however, little is known about the effect of other alkaline earth metals. NaCl was partially substituted with MgCl2 or SrCl2 (8·7 and 11·4 g/kg curd, respectively) at the salting stage of cheesemaking to study their effects on cheese. Three cheeses were produced: Mg supplemented (+Mg), Sr supplemented (+Sr) and a control Cheddar cheese. Ca, Mg and Sr contents of cheese and expressible serum obtained therefrom were determined by atomic absorption spectroscopy. Addition of Mg2+ or Sr2+ had no effect on % moisture, protein, fat and extent of proteolysis. A proportion of the added Mg2+ and Sr2+ became CN-bound. The level of CN-bound Mg was higher in the +Mg cheese than the control throughout ripening. The level of CN-bound Ca and Mg decreased during ripening in all cheeses, as did % CN-bound Sr in the +Sr cheese. The presence of Sr2+ increased % CN-bound Ca and Mg at a number of ripening times. Adding Mg2+ had no effect on % CN-bound Ca. The +Sr cheese exhibited a higher G′ at 70 °C and a lower LTmax than the control and +Mg cheeses throughout ripening. The +Sr cheese had significantly lower meltability compared with the control and +Mg cheeses after 2 months of ripening. Hardness values of the +Sr cheese were higher at week 2 than the +Mg and control cheeses. Addition of Mg2+ did not influence the physical properties of cheese. Supplementing cheese with Sr appeared to have effects analogous to those previously reported for increasing Ca content. Sr2+ may form and/or modify nanocluster crosslinks causing an increase in the strength of the para-casein matrix.
A detailed investigation was undertaken to determine the effects of four single starter strains, Lactococcus lactis subsp. lactis 303, Lc. lactis subsp. cremoris HP, Lc. lactis subsp. cremoris AM2, and Lactobacillus helveticus DPC4571 on the proteolytic, lipolytic and sensory characteristics of Cheddar cheese. Cheeses produced using the highly autolytic starters 4571 and AM2 positively impacted on flavour development, whereas cheeses produced from the poorly autolytic starters 303 and HP developed off-flavours. Starter selection impacted significantly on the proteolytic and sensory characteristics of the resulting Cheddar cheeses. It appeared that the autolytic and/or lipolytic properties of starter strains also influenced lipolysis, however lipolysis appeared to be limited due to a possible lack of availability or access to suitable milk fat substrates over ripening. The impact of lipolysis on the sensory characteristics of Cheddar cheese was unclear, possibly due to minimal differences in the extent of lipolysis between the cheeses at the end of ripening. As anticipated seasonal milk supply influenced both proteolysis and lipolysis in Cheddar cheese. The contribution of non-starter lactic acid bacteria towards proteolysis and lipolysis over the first 8 months of Cheddar cheese ripening was negligible.
This study investigated the application of near infrared (NIR) reflectance spectroscopy to the measurement of texture (sensory and instrumental) in experimental processed cheese samples. Spectra (750 to 2498 nm) of cheeses were recorded after 2 and 4 weeks storage at 4 °C. Trained assessors evaluated 9 sensory properties, a texture profile analyser (TPA) was used to record 5 instrumental parameters and cheese ‘meltability’ was measured by computer vision. Predictive models for sensory and instrumental texture parameters were developed using partial least squares regression on raw or pre-treated spectral data. Sensory attributes and instrumental texture measurements were modelled with sufficient accuracy to recommend the use of NIR reflectance spectroscopy for routine quality assessment of processed cheese.
Bovine milk contains a number of indigenous proteolytic enzymes, of which plasmin is the most important (Grufferty & Fox, 1988; Bastian & Brown, 1996; Kelly & McSweeney, 2003). Plasmin (EC 184.108.40.206) is a serine proteinase with pH and temperature optima of 7·5 and 37 °C, respectively. In milk, most of the plasmin is present as its inactive precursor, plasminogen, which is converted to active plasmin by plasminogen activators (PA) present in milk, e.g., urokinase-type (u-PA) and tissue-type PA (t-PA) (Bastian & Brown, 1996). Since plasmin, plasminogen and PA are associated with casein micelles, they are incorporated into cheese curd, while plasmin inhibitors and inhibitors of PA are lost with the whey. Plasmin incorporated in cheese curd acts on its substrate, the caseins, contributing significantly to primary proteolysis during ripening (Upadhyay et al. 2004b).
A novel 2-stage gravity separation scheme was developed for fractionation of raw, whole bovine milk into fractions enriched in small (SFG) or large (LFG) fat globules. The volume mean diameter of fat globules in SFG, LFG or control (CTRL) milk was 3·45, 4·68 and 3·58 μm, respectively. The maximum in storage modulus (index of firmness) decreased with increasing fat globule size for rennet-induced gels formed from SFG, LFG or CTRL milks. Miniature (20 g) Cheddar cheeses were manufactured using each of the 3 milks. There were no significant (P>0·05) differences in the pH, moisture and fat in dry matter levels between cheeses made using any of the 3 milks, however, the fat content of the cheese made using SFG milk was ~1% lower than that of cheese made using LFG or CTRL milk in each of the 2 trials. Image analysis of confocal scanning laser micrographs of the cheeses illustrated that the star volume of fat globules in the cheeses decreased significantly (P[les ]0·05) as the size of fat globules in the milks used for cheesemaking was reduced. This indicates that it is possible to manipulate the size distribution of fat globules in Cheddar cheese by adjusting the fat globule size distribution of the milk used for cheesemaking. The concentration of free fatty acids (FFA) increased in all cheeses during ripening. At 120 d of ripening, the concentration of FFA varied significantly (P[les ]0·05 and P[les ]0·001 for trials 1 and 2, respectively) with fat globule size, with cheeses made in trial 2 from LFG, SFG or CTRL milks having total FFA levels of 3391, 2820 and 2612 mg/kg cheese, respectively.
Twenty-nine multiparous cows of each of the Jersey and Friesian breeds, all κ-casein AB phenotype, were grazed together and managed identically. On three occasions during 10 d in spring (early lactation), milk was collected from all cows at four consecutive milkings and bulked according to breed. On a separate occasion, milk samples were also collected from each cow at consecutive a.m. and p.m. milkings to form one daily sample per cow. The bulked milks (800–1000 l per breed on each occasion) were standardized to a protein[ratio ]fat (P[ratio ]F) ratio of 0·80, and 350 l from each breed was made into Cheddar cheese. The solids content of the remaining Friesian milk was then increased by ultrafiltration to a solids concentration equal to that of the Jersey milk. This solids-standardized Friesian milk and a replicate batch of P[ratio ]F standardized Jersey milk were made into two further batches of Cheddar cheese in 350-l vats. Compared with Friesian milk, Jersey milk had higher concentrations of most milk components measured, including protein, casein and fat. There were few difference in milk protein composition between breeds, but there were differences in fat composition. Friesian milk fat had more conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) than Jersey milk fat. Jersey milk coagulated faster and formed firmer curd than Friesian milk. Concentrations of some milk components were correlated with coagulation parameters, but relationships did not allow prediction of cheesemaking potential. Jersey milk yielded 10% more cheese per kg than Friesian milk using P[ratio ]F standardized milk, but for milks with the same solids concentration there were no differences in cheese yield. No differences in cheese composition between breeds were detected. Differences in cheesemaking properties of milk from Jerseys and Friesians were entirely related to the concentrations of solids in the original milk.
High pressure processing was investigated for controlling Cheddar cheese ripening. One-month- or 4-month-old Cheddar cheeses were subjected to pressures ranging from 200 to 800 MPa for 5 min at 25 °C. The number of viable Lactococcus lactis (starter) and Lactobacillus (nonstarter) cells decreased as pressure increased. Subsequent storage of the control and pressure-treated cheeses at 10 °C caused viable cell counts to change in some cases. Free amino acid content was monitored as an indicator of proteolysis. Cheeses treated with pressures [ges ]400 MPa evolved free amino acids at significantly lower rates than the control. No acceleration in free amino acid development was observed at lower pressures. Pressure treatment did not accelerate the rate of textural breakdown compared with the non-pressure treated control. On the contrary, pressure treatment at 800 MPa reduced the time-dependent texture changes. Results indicate that high pressure may be useful in arresting Cheddar cheese ripening.
During a routine inspection of Cheddar cheese manufactured at a commercial
factory in New Zealand, some lots of 6-month-old cheese were found to have
developed a pinkish colouration on the surface of the 20 kg blocks of cheese.
Colouration did not always occur uniformly on all six faces of the rectangular cheese
block, or even on a single face of the block. Furthermore, not all blocks from within
the same day's manufacture were equally affected. When an affected block was
removed from its bag and cut across, colouration was sometimes found to penetrate
approximately 1–2 cm down into the cheese. In those blocks where a plug of cheese
had been removed previously, a pinkish zone surrounded the plug-hole cavity.
The pinkish colouration was observed to fade slowly (over about 12–24 h) when
the cheese surface was exposed to air.
Annatto, known to cause pink discolouration in “coloured” Cheddar cheese
(Govindarajan & Morris, 1973) and in processed cheese made using coloured
Cheddar, was not used in the manufacture of the present cheeses and could therefore
be excluded as a cause of the colouration.
The flavour profiles of all affected cheeses were considered by experienced
industry cheese graders to be easily within the normal range of flavour profile
expected for a cheese of this type i.e. there was no evidence of any off-flavour
The present short communication describes the microbiological and chemical
investigations carried out to determine the origin and nature of the pinkish
colouration in Cheddar cheese.
The behaviour of Streptococcus thermophilus in combination with Lactococcus lactis subsp. cremoris or subsp. lactis mesophilic starters in experimental Cheddar cheese is reported. In a standard manufacturing procedure employing a 38 °C cook temperature, even very low levels (0·007%) of Str. thermophilus combined with normal levels of the mesophilic starter (1·7%) resulted in increased rates of acid production, the formation of significant amounts of galactose (∼ 13 mmol/kg cheese), and populations nearly equivalent to those of the mesophilic lactic starter in the curd before salting. At a 41 °C cook temperature, the Str. thermophilus attained a higher maximum population (∼ log 8·2 colony forming units (cfu)/g) than the Lc. lactis subsp. cremoris (∼ log 6·8 cfu/g) and formed more galactose (∼ 28 mmol/kg). Lactobacillus rhamnosus, deliberately added to a cheese made using Str. thermophilus starter and which contained 24 mmol galactose/kg at day one, utilized all the galactose during the first 3 months of cheese ripening. Adventitious non-starter lactic acid bacteria had the potential to utilize this substrate too, and a close relationship was demonstrated between the increase in this flora and the disappearance of the galactose. Some possible consequences for cheese quality of using Str. thermophilus as a starter component are discussed.
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