Date of Award:


Document Type:


Degree Name:

Master of Science (MS)


Nutrition, Dietetics, and Food Sciences

Department name when degree awarded

Nutrition and Food Science

Committee Chair(s)

Donald J. McMahon


Donald J. McMahon


Conly L. Hansen


Silvana Martini


As overweight and obesity numbers continue to climb around the world, consumers continue to search for reduced-fat alternatives to foods they often consume. Given that cheese is naturally high in fat, this is one food that is often targeted for fat reduction. However, as fat plays an important functional role in the texture of cheese by breaking up the continuous protein matrix, reduced-fat products tend to be very chewy and rubbery compared to their full-fat counterparts.

My study aimed at producing a reduced-fat cheese with improved texture compared to other reduced-fat cheese products by incorporating a double emulsion into the cheese in place of cream. The double emulsion consisted of small water droplets dispersed within oil droplets, which in turn were dispersed within a secondary water phase. The oil droplets that would then be incorporated into the cheese could essentially be made up of 40% water droplets and only 60% fat, allowing for a cheese to be designed with the same number of fat droplets as full-fat cheese while having a 40% fat reduction.

In my experiments, I made cheese with varying levels of fat using the double emulsion, along with reduced-fat and full-fat control cheeses that contained oil droplets composed entirely of fat. Though retention of double emulsion in the cheese due to its inherent instability was the key factor, I found that the double emulsion cheeses had similar to improved textural qualities compared to the control cheeses of higher fat.



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