Cheese: Pasta-filata Cheeses: Low-Moisture Part-Skim Mozzarella (Pizza Cheese)

Document Type

Contribution to Book

Journal/Book Title/Conference

Encyclopedia of Dairy Sciences




J.W. Fuquay, P.F. Fox, and P.L. McSweeney


Academic Press, San Diego, USA

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Low-moisture part-skim (LMPS) Mozzarella is a commodity cheese whose composition, production, and functionality are strongly linked to its use as pizza cheese. Its traditional manufacture follows that of most pasta-filata or stretched cheeses in that after curd formation, and sufficient syneresis and acid development, the curd is heated and mechanically stretched, then formed into shape, cooled, brined, and vacuum packaged. Many innovations have been implemented in its large-scale manufacture to lower cost, shorten make time, simplify use in the food service industry, or modify baking performance. LMPS Mozzarella needs only a few weeks of aging to develop the desired properties, or if moisture, fat, and calcium levels are correct it can be shredded for immediate use and frozen for storage and delivery. When LMPS Mozzarella is melted, it forms a homogeneous mass with sufficient flow, so shreds fuse together while enough calcium-mediated interactions occur between proteins to retain some elasticity (stretch). Thermophilic starter cultures, such as Streptococcus thermophilus and Lactobacillus helveticus in combination, or St. thermophilus alone, are used to slow proteolysis and provide a longer time before the cheese becomes too soft to shred. The fibrous structure of LMPS Mozzarella allows it to be sold as an individually wrapped ‘string’ cheese.

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