Date of Award:


Document Type:


Degree Name:

Master of Science (MS)


Nutrition, Dietetics, and Food Sciences

Committee Chair(s)

Donald J. McMahon


Donald J. McMahon


Silvana Martini


Robert E. Ward


Low-fat Cheddar cheese flavor is different from full-fat Cheddar cheese and is not acceptable to many consumers. This 2-part experiment was designed to examine effects adjunct cultures have on low-fat Cheddar cheese flavor as determined through descriptive analysis and consumer feedback.

In Part 1, low-fat (5%) Cheddar cheese was produced in duplicate, using 6 combinations of DVS850, LH32, CR540, CRL431, Emfour, and CR319 bacterial cultures. Due to a previously observed positive effect by sodium gluconate on low-fat cheese flavor, each replicate was split into treatments of 0.0% and 0.8% sodium gluconate. Each of these treatments was then split into ripening temperature treatments: 6°C for 21 ± 1 wk; or 6°C for 3 wk, 10°C for 8 wk, and 6°C for 10 wk. Cheese was tasted first by an informal panel. The 4 treatment combinations for the control cheese and the CR540 (a Lactococcus lactis ssp. and Lactobacillus ssp. blend) cheese, along with all culture combinations containing sodium gluconate and ripened only at 6°C, were selected for descriptive analysis. Some statistically significant differences in culture treatment were observed. Sodium gluconate addition had a positive influence on flavor while elevated ripening temperature resulted in undesirable flavor notes. Low-fat (5%) Cheddar cheese with the CR540 adjunct with and without sodium gluconate was evaluated in a consumer taste panel with commercial full-fat (33% fat) and commercial reduced-fat (25% fat) Cheddar cheese. The low-fat cheeses were not significantly different from the commercial reduced-fat, indicating comparable cheese.

Part 2 involved making Cheddar-like cheese with non-Cheddar adjunct cultures, using the same process as Part 1. Sodium gluconate was again added but elevated ripening temperature was not included. Each treatment was also divided into a sodium treatment, full salt (2%) and reduced salt (1.5%). After 2 mo of storage at 6°C, cheese was tasted by an informal panel and found to be bitter because of the starter culture used. A culture was added to the second replicate of the experiment to reduce bitterness. This adjunct was found to be somewhat effective in reducing bitterness but not entirely. Descriptive analysis was performed on the high salt level treatments for both replicates. Some difference was observed among cultures and sodium gluconate treatments; however, no acceptable cheese was produced due to bitterness in both replicates. Sodium treatments were not analyzed.




This work made publicly available electronically on September 1, 2011.

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