Title

Influence of Fat, Moisture and Salt on Functional Properties of Mozzarella Cheese

Document Type

Article

Journal/Book Title/Conference

Influence of Fat, Moisture and Salt on Functional Properties of Mozzarella Cheese

Issue

53

Publication Date

1998

First Page

42

Last Page

45

Abstract

Based on our studies, the most important parameter controlling melting of mozzarella cheese is the status of the protein matrix. Fat is important in allowing moisture to be retained in cheese and also has a protective and lubricating effect as the cheese is heated, but it should be looked upon as a secondary factor because if the pH, moisture, calcium and salt content of the cheese is appropriate, then even a fat-free cheese can be manufactured so as to have extensive melting properties. During the pasta filata stage of manufacturing mozzarella cheese, the proteins are aligned into fibres separated by channels containing close-packed fat globules, bacterial cells and whey serum. During storage of the cheese, the serum in these channels is absorbed as a function of increased hydration of the proteins in the surrounding matrix. Then, as the proteins become more hydrated (and correspondingly less aggregated), the meltablity of the cheese increases. This increased interaction of the caseins is enhanced by the addition of NaCI to the cheese and reducing cheese calcium content.

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