Date of Award:


Document Type:


Degree Name:

Master of Science (MS)


Nutrition, Dietetics, and Food Sciences

Committee Chair(s)

Paul A. Savello


Paul A. Savello


Donald J. McMahon


Charlotte P. Brennand


This study investigated the manufacturing procedures and texture attributes of direct acid set of an unripened, shelf-stable cheese variety produced by the combined technologies of ultrafiltration and ultra-high temperature processing. Product evaluation included physical and chemical properties such as gel strength, syneresis, pH, moisture, protein, and fat. Whole milk was concentrated by ultrafiltration to 30, 35, and 40% total solids. Milk retentate was ultra-high temperature-processed by preheating to 65 or 77°C, sterilized at 141°C for 4 s by direct steam injection, flash cooled to approximately 62 or 72°C, homogenized in two stages at either 13.8/2.1 or 27.6/4.1 MPa, cooled to 38°C, and aseptically packaged. iv sterilized sodium chloride was aseptically added and dissolved in the ultra-filtrated and ultra-high temperature processed retentate to produce .5% final concentration. Autoclaved solutions of citric and lactic acids, or glucono-delta-lactone were added aseptically to the salted retentate to form a soft gel by lowering the pH range from 4.3 to 4.6. The coagulated retentates were stored at room temperature for 6 months. The effects of total solids, homogenization pressures, preheat temperatures, acidulants, and storage time on selected physicochemical properties of the acid gels were determined.

Taste panels evaluated selected soft cheese characteristics after 6 months' storage. No statistically significant effect of the total milk solids level on gel firmness was observed. High homogenization pressure and the interaction of high preheat temperature and homogenization pressure produced significantly firmer gel and caused less syneresis. Acidulant types influenced significantly gel strength, syneresis, appearance, and texture. Soft cheeses prepared with citric acid were firmer than those acidified with lactic acid or gluconodelta-lactone. Lactic acid samples produced more syneresis than citric acid cheese samples. Cheese samples prepared with glucono-delta-lactone had the smoothest and least grainy texture, shiny appearance, little or no wheying-off, and a gel strength intermediate between the two other acidulants.