Date of Award:


Document Type:


Degree Name:

Master of Science (MS)


Nutrition, Dietetics, and Food Sciences

Department name when degree awarded

Nutrition and Food Sciences

Committee Chair(s)

Donald J. McMahon


Donald J. McMahon


Paul A. Savello


Deloy G. Hendricks


Charlotte P. Brennand


Mozzarella cheese was made from milk fortified with iron so that the cheese contained 25 and 50 ppm iron. Iron was added to the milk in three ways: (1) complexed to casein (ferric-casein), (2) complexed to whey protein (ferric-whey protein), and (3) ferric chloride (FeCl3·6H20) added directly to milk. Cheese quality was determined by chemical, physical, and sensory characteristics and compared with a control cheese.

Chemical oxidation, during 28 days storage, was determined by absorbance of malondialdehyde at 535 nm using the thiobarbituric acid assay (TBA). Physical properties were assessed by the Arnott test for melt, helical viscometer for stretch, and b* value for cook color. Sensory properties were tested by panelists trained to detect metallic and oxidized off-flavors and by large, untrained consumer panels. There were no significant differences in iron-fortified cheeses based on the method of adding iron to milk. There were no significant differences in TBA-measured oxidation caused by adding iron, method of adding iron, or by storage (α=.05). Stretch was increased by addition of iron. Melt and cook color were not affected by iron fortification. The trained sensory panel scored metallic and oxidized off-flavors slightly higher in the iron-fortified cheeses than in the controls, although at a level that was slightly perceptible. When cooked on a pizza, the iron-fortified cheese was rated comparable to the control cheese by consumer panels. Based on the popularity of pizza and on these observations, it was concluded that iron-fortified Mozzarella cheese can be used as an appropriate food vehicle to supplement the diets of populations that are at risk for iron deficiency anemia (e.g., children and pregnant women).