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


Craig Oberg


Jeff Broadbent


Experiment A explored the influence of sodium on direct acid, nonfat Mozzarella cheese. Cheeses with differing salt levels were obtained by varying dry salt applications (none, 0.5%, and 1.0% NaCl w/w) and hot brine stretching (0%, 5%, and 10% NaCl wt/v). Salt application and salt content influenced cheese moisture, meltability, expressible serum, micro- and ultra-structure, and color. Moisture was highest when cheese was salted before stretching (P = 0.03). Melt was lowest in cheeses that were unsalted (P = 0.05). Cheeses stretched in salt brine had < 1% of the amount of expressible serum found in unsalted cheese (P < 0.0001). Unsalted cheeses had a more open structure with pockets of serum distributed throughout the protein matrix giving it an opaque, white appearance. Salted cheeses had a more homogeneous protein matrix lacking light scattering surfaces, resulting in a translucent cheese. Neither salt concentration nor method of salting affected the calcium content of the cheeses (P > 0.05).

Experiment B explored the influence of calcium, moisture, and pH on cheese structure and functionality. Cheeses were manufactured using combinations of citric and acetic acids. Addition of EDTA to the whey during cooking, CaCl2 fortification, and extended drain times were used to produce eight cheeses in a 23 factorial design with target pH levels of 5.8 and 5.3, 70% and 66% moisture, and 0.6% and 0.3% calcium levels. EDTA was unsuccessful in removing calcium from pH 5.8 cheese. Adding CaCh successfully increased the calcium level of pH 5.3 cheese. Cheese with 0.3% calcium had greatest melt, decreased hardness and increased adhesiveness. Cheese with 0.6% calcium had decreased melt and adhesiveness, and increased hardness. When calcium content was held at 0.6% there was no significant difference in melting even when pH was varied from pH 5.8 to pH 5.3. The microstructure of the 0.6% calcium cheeses had an increase in protein folds and serum pockets. Low calcium cheeses had a very homogeneous structure.

Directly acidified nonfat Mozzarella cheese manufactured with 1.0% dry salt and hot water stretching produced the best cheese. This cheese contained 0.4% salt, 0.4% calcium, no expressible serum, and good meltability.