Food Structure

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Amino acid compositions of stirred-curd Mozzarella, stretched Mozzarella, and process Cheddar cheeses were similar and did not change as the result of baking in a conventional oven. D-glutamic acid (D0Glue) and D-phenyl-alanine (D-Phe) were present at low concentrations in all cheese samples, the lowest concentrations having been found in unbaked stirred-curd Mozzarella cheese (2.7% D-Glu of total Glu present and <1.0% D-Phe of total Phe present). The highest concentrations were detected in unbaked stretched Mozzarella cheese (5.6% and 1.2%, respectively). Thechanges were not significant and were not the result of aking, indicating that the heat treatment during baking did n ot cause racemization of the amino acids.

Each cheese had a characteristic structure before baking. The structures of the Mozzarella cheeses were altered by baking in the conventional oven and also in a microwave oven and their original features such as curd granule junction and fat globule membranes vanished. Stirred-curd Mozzarella cheese melted most rapidly and partlly flowed down from the pizza dough over the edge. Electron microscopy revealed aggregation of the fat globules and a laminar orientation of the protein matrix as the result of the flow. Stretched Mozzarella cheese melted easily but did not flow away. Process Cheddar cheese melted slowly. Fat particles in this cheese aggregated only slightly during baking.

The effects of microwave baking were comparable to those produced in the conventional oven.

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