Curd granule junction patterns in hard (Emmentaler, Gruyere, Sbrinz) and semi-hard cheeses (Appenzeller , Tilsiter, Raclette) were visualized on slices and examined using light microscopy and digital image analysis. Horizontal and vertical sections were cut in different zones of the loaves, in order to obtain information on the orientation of the flattened curd granules.
The frequency histograms of the cross section areas could in most cases adequately be described as a log-normal distribution. The median values ranged from 0.97 to 1.15 mm2 and, from 1.31 to 1.68 mm2 for hard and semi-hard cheeses, respectively.
An elliptical form factor was used as a measure of the deformation of the granules. The average ratio of the elliptical axes was in the range of 0 .41 to 0.56 in horizontal and 0.33 to 0.48 i n vertical sections. The difference between the form factors in the orthogonal sections was less pronounced in the Appenzeller and Tilsiter cheeses than in the other varieties. Significantly different junction patterns were observed in regions of the edges and sides of the original billets of curd . The micrographs reveal ed interesting features around the eyes and in the cheese rind.
Semi-mechanized and traditionally manufactured Appenzeller and Tilsiter cheeses had different curd granule junction patterns, mainly because of different moulding and pressing arrangements.
Ruegg, M. and Moor, U.
"The Size Distribution and Shape of Curd Granules in Traditional Swiss Hard and Semi-Hard Cheeses,"
1, Article 6.
Available at: http://digitalcommons.usu.edu/foodmicrostructure/vol6/iss1/6