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Cheddar cheese is one of the world's most popular cheeses and is consumed in blocks and slices. The slicability of cheddar cheese can depend on textural and rheological properties. Understanding these characteristics can enhance desirability and reduce material loss occurring during slicing. In this study, we focused on four main parameters: slice thickness, cheese shape, storage period, and cheese type. Four thicknesses (0.5, 1.0, 1.5, and 2.0 mm) and two shapes (triangular and square) of mild, medium, sharp, and extra sharp were selected. Cheeses were purchased from Walmart and the Utah State University creamery. At first, cheese blocks were cut into 7 x 7 x 5 cm3 cubes, separately packaged, and stored at 5° C. One block of each variety was extracted weekly over five weeks. Blocks were sliced into triplicates using an Intertek Beswood-250 food slicer. Square samples were cut to 7 x 7 cm2 and triangular at 7 x 7 x 9.9 cm3. Each slice was imaged and manually examined for defects such as broken corners, cracks, and pinholes. Samples received quality scores (QS) ranging from one (highest) to five (lowest). The QS (raw values) were analyzed using a completely randomized design with a linear regression model (significance level (α): 0.05) and with independent effects of storage periods and thicknesses in origin 2021. QS of sliced cheeses improved significantly (P. 0.05) with storage. Result scores (1-5) were a mean of all samples from each thickness. Sliced cheeses of 0.5 mm thickness received QS of 4.21 and 2.80 at days 0 and 35, respectively. Similarly, QS for 1.0 mm went from 3.00 to 2.30, while 1.5 mm samples improved from 2.96 to 2.17. At the same time, 2.0 mm had a QS of 2.79 on day 0 and 2.04 on day 35. The results showed that 0.5 mm had the most improvement and variability while those cut at 2.0 mm received the best scores. Square samples received significantly (P 0.05) better QS over the triangular shapes due to reduced corner angle stress. This could be caused by enzyme breakdown, pH change, and bacterial growth. This study can assist the cheese industry produce more consistent and qualitative cheese in the form of slices.

Publication Date



Logan, UT


cheddar cheese, material loss, slicability, storage time


Physical Sciences and Mathematics

Assessing the Impact of Storage Time and Shape of the Block on the Slicability of Commercial Cheddar Cheese