Fortification of Cheddar Cheese with Vitamin D Does Not Alter Cheese Flavor Perception

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Journal of Dairy Science



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Currently, dietary guidelines for vitamin D consumption are under review, considering new information that >50% of the US population is vitamin D deficient, and may lead to a recommendation of a higher dietary intake of this vitamin. Vitamin D fortification of cheese aims to improve the current availability of fortified dairy foods beyond liquid milk. However, cheese is susceptible to undesirable flavor changes during long-term cheese ripening, and cheese bacteria and enzymes may degrade added vitamins. To test the retention of vitamin D3 in Cheddar cheese curd, cheese milk was fortified initially during manufacture at a level of 150 IU/serving, using commercial sources that contained vitamin D3 in powder, oil, or emulsion form, with and without homogenization of the fortified milk. When fortification was done directly to the cheese milk, we found that more than 80% vitamin D3 was retained in cheese curd, irrespective of homogenization or form of fortification. Further, Cheddar cheese was fortified with the emulsion form of vitamin D3 directly in cheese milk at 200 and 400 IU/serving to test stability and flavor changes. Vitamin D3 fortified in this manner was stable for up to 9 mo in Cheddar cheese. Consumer acceptance and descriptive analysis of flavor profiles of cheese were also conducted and showed that vitamin D3 fortified cheeses were equally liked by consumers, and cheese taste and flavor remained unaltered with vitamin D3 addition even after aging for 9 mo.

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