Chemical, Physical, and Sensory Characteristics of Mozzarella Cheese Fortified Using Protein-Chelated Iron or Ferric Chloride

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Journal of Dairy Science



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Mozzarella cheese containing 25 and 50 mg of iron/kg of cheese was manufactured from milk that had been fortified with casein-chelated iron, whey protein-chelated iron, or FeCl3. Chemical, physical, and sensory characteristics were compared with those of a control cheese. Physical properties were assessed by testing melting, apparent viscosity, and browning of heated cheese. Cheeses were evaluated by trained panelists for the presence of metallic flavors, oxidized flavors, and other undesirable flavors. Addition of 25 mg iron/kg of cheese had no effects on the physical properties of Mozzarella cheese. Apparent viscosity of cheese fortified with 50 mg of iron/kg of cheese tended to be slightly higher than the control cheese, although this difference was not statistically significant at all storage times. Cook color was not affected by iron fortification. No increase in chemical oxidation (measured using thiobarbituric acid assay) was observed between the control and iron-fortified cheeses. Slight but statistically significant increases in metallic flavors, oxidized flavors, and off-flavors in the iron-fortified cheese were observed by the trained sensory panel, but the flavor defects were of very low intensity. For metallic flavors, oxidized flavors, and off-flavors, the control cheese scored 1.5, 1.5, and 1.3, respectively; the iron-fortified cheese scored 2.1, 2.0, and 1.6 based on a nine-point scale (where 1 = not perceptible to 3 = slightly perceptible). Sensory scores for iron-fortified cheese made using casein-chelated iron or whey protein-chelated iron was not significantly different from those of cheese made using ferric chloride. When used on pizza, consumer panels rated the iron-fortified cheeses as comparable with the control cheese.