Test for Measuring the Stretchability of Melted Cheese

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Journal of Dairy Science



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A test for measuring the stretchability of cheese was developed by adapting a texture-profile analyzer to pull strands of cheese upwards from a reservoir of melted cheese. Seven different cheeses were analyzed using the Utah State University stretch test. The cheeses were also analyzed for apparent viscosity with a helical viscometer, for meltability using a tube melt test, and for stretch using the pizza-fork test. Cheese was placed into a stainless steel cup and tempered in a water bath at 60, 70, 80, or 90 degrees C for 30 min before analysis. The cup was then placed in a water-jacketed holder mounted on the base of the instrument. A three-pronged hook-shaped probe was lowered into the melted cheese and then pulled vertically until all cheese strands broke or 30 cm was reached. This produced a stretch profile as the probe was lifted through the reservoir of melted cheese and then pulled strands of cheese upwards. Three parameters were defined to characterize the stretchability of the cheese. The maximum load, obtained as the probe was lifted through the cheese, was defined as melt strength (F(M)). The distance to which cheese strands were lifted was defined as stretch length (SL). The load exerted on the probe as the strands of cheese were being stretched was defined as stretch quality (SQ). There was a correlation between F(M) and apparent viscosity. There was also some correlation between SL measured by the fork test and SL when the cheese was tested at 90 degrees C, but no correlation occurred at lower temperatures.

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