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Effect of pH on Characteristics of Low-Moisture Mozzarella Cheese during Refrigerated Storage

Author:
Cortez, M.A.S., Furtado, M.M., Gigante, M.L., Kindstedt, P.S.
Source:
Journal of food science 2008 v.73 no.9 pp. S443
ISSN:
0022-1147
Subject:
water content, mozzarella cheese, pH, refrigeration, cold storage, proteolysis, calcium, spatial variation, functional properties, shredding, viscosity, lipid content, temporal variation, slicing, vacuum packaging, texture, melting, nitrogen, nitrogen content, cheese ripening, shelf life
Abstract:
This study evaluated the effect of cheese pH on proteolysis, calcium distribution, and functional characteristics of Mozzarella cheese. On 4 occasions, cultured low-moisture part-skim Mozzarella cheeses were obtained from a commercial producer on the day after manufacture. Cheese blocks were randomly assigned to 2 groups. One group was shredded, subdivided, and exposed to either ammonia vapor to increase the pH or HCl vapor to decrease the pH. Samples were vacuum packaged, stored at 4 °C, and analyzed for pH 4.6 and 12% TCA soluble nitrogen, apparent viscosity, free oil, and water-soluble calcium on days 5, 12, 22, and 40. The 2nd group was sectioned into 23-mm thick slabs and similarly exposed to either ammonia vapor to increase the pH or HCl vapor to decrease the pH. The slabs were vacuum packaged, stored at 4 °C, and analyzed for pH 4.6 and 12% TCA soluble nitrogen, TPA hardness, springiness and cohesiveness, and meltability on days 17, 29, and 41. Data were analyzed by ANOVA according to a spilt-plot design. Experimentally induced pH differences persisted and significantly affected TPA hardness, apparent viscosity, meltability, and water-soluble calcium throughout 40 d of storage, but did not affect soluble nitrogen changes. Thus, cheese pH affected functional characteristics and calcium distribution but did not affect proteolysis rates. Higher cheese pH resulted in a harder cheese that required longer aging to develop desirable melting characteristics, whereas cheese with lower pH developed desirable melting characteristics more quickly but had a shorter functional shelf life.
Agid:
741356