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Food Structure

Abstract

Cheese quality and quality evaluation are important in the production and marketing of cheeses. The commercial value and acceptability of bard and semi-bard cheeses are greatly affected by the cheese structure and body features. This is a feasibility study using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) techniques to evaluate cheese structure.

The results indicate that MRI is a non-destructive method which can provide high resolution images of the inner structure of cheeses, particularly the presence of air and whey pockets as small as 0.1 x 0.1 x I mm. It may be used to study and evaluate eye structure, size, and distribution in Swiss-type cheeses, as well as to detect structural defects associated with Swiss-type and Cheddar cheeses. The information provided by this method is unique and can be used on a daily basis to follow cheese ripening, evaluate process parameters, detect cheese contamination by gas-forming bacteria, and provide reliable information necessary for proper cheese grading.

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