Date of Award:


Document Type:


Degree Name:

Master of Science (MS)


Nutrition, Dietetics, and Food Sciences

Committee Chair(s)

Prateek Sharma


Prateek Sharma


Donald McMahon


Silvana Martini


Process Cheese is manufactured by grinding, mixing, and heating with agitation one or more of the same varieties of natural cheese with an emulsifying agent to create a cheese with desirable properties. After process cheese is made, it is often sliced or shredded. Some of its properties affect how well it can be sliced or shredded and can lead to loss of material due to cheese sticking to equipment or being too crumbly. The loss of material, called wear behavior can incur significant losses to cheese manufacturing operations. The purpose of this study was to produce process cheese formulations with wide range of shredding properties by changing formulation and also to develop predictive model for shreddability using cheese wear behavior data.

Experimental process cheese formulations were made with varying levels of an emulsifying agent and varying average ages of natural Cheddar cheese. The effects of these treatments on wear behavior, shredding behavior, and other important processing-related attributes were significant. We found that with increasing age, extent of proteolysis increased, and material became softer and sticky. A good correlation was found between shredding data and wear behavior and the other processing-related process cheese attributes. Various models with different combinations of variables from wear data and mechanical properties of cheese were tested statistically and the model including only wear behavior (mass loss, penetration depth) was found suitable to predict the shredding behavior of process cheese.