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Effect of fat content and temperature on the translucency of Cheddar cheese

Ibáñez, Rodrigo A., Waldron, David S., McSweeney, Paul L.H.
International dairy journal 2016 v.54 pp. 33-42
Cheddar cheese, absorbance, cooling, heat, lipid content, melting, ripening, temperature
Cheese translucency is influenced by fat content, ripening and temperature and is traditionally determined by CIELAB whiteness. However, translucency is also affected by thickness of materials. The Kubelka-Munk method (K/S) estimates the ratio of absorbance to scatter from whiteness measurements on thin layers of materials above white and black backgrounds. The effect of fat content and temperature on Cheddar cheese translucency was evaluated using K/S and CIELAB methods. Cheddar cheeses varying in fat composition were made and translucency was measured during heating/cooling at 2 and 180 d of ripening. Low fat content in cheese was found to be related to high translucency at <30 °C. At 40 °C, translucency increased due to fat melting. At >60 °C, a reversible protein aggregation led to a reduction of translucency. Translucency increased as cheeses aged. CIELAB and K/S methods were highly correlated; K/S could therefore be useful for estimating cheese translucency.