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Effect of salt on the chemical, functional, and rheological properties of Queso Fresco during storage

Guo, Ling, Van Hekken, Diane L., Tomasula, Peggy M., Shieh, James, Tunick, Michael H.
International dairy journal 2011 v.21 no.5 pp. 352-357
cheeses, color, functional properties, heat treatment, lipids, pH, pasteurized milk, proteins, rheological properties, salt content, shear strength, shear stress, sodium chloride, starter cultures, storage time, texture, water activity
The contribution of NaCl to the functional and rheological properties of Queso Fresco (QF) was investigated to provide the basis for developing a low-salt version of this cheese. QF was manufactured from pasteurized homogenized milk using a commercial procedure without starter cultures; up to 2.5% (w/w) NaCl was added to milled curds. Moisture, fat, and protein levels were unaffected by salt content; the pH in QF made with 0–1.0% NaCl decreased with storage. Water activity increased significantly over storage time, and was inversely proportional to NaCl content. Total colour change after heating, and chroma values of cheese heated at 232 °C for 5 min decreased as NaCl levels increased; chroma values before and after heating increased with storage time. Increasing NaCl content increased shear stress and shear rigidity values. Texture profile analysis and small-amplitude oscillatory shear analyses showed no rheological differences between cheeses due to NaCl content or storage time.