Effect of Exopolysaccharide-Producing Cultures on Moisture Retention in Low Fat Mozzarella Cheese

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Journal of Dairy Science



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Low fat (6%) Mozzarella cheese was made in 10-L vats using an exopolysaccharide-producing starter culture consisting of Streptococcus thermophilus and Lactobacillus delbrueckii ssp. bulgaricus. A control cheese was made using strains of S. thermophilus and Lactobacillus helveticus that did not produce exopolysaccharide. Both starter cultures were also used with the addition of a mesophilic exopolysaccharide-producing adjunct culture consisting of Lactococcus lactis ssp. lactis and L. lactis ssp. cremoris strains. Moisture content of the cheese was measured at d 1, and melt was measured at 1, 7, 14, and 28 d of storage at 4°C. Analysis of variance showed significant differences in moisture and melting properties between cheeses made with or without exopolysaccharide-producing starter cultures. Cheeses made with the addition of the adjunct culture showed significant differences in moisture, but not in melting properties. The moisture content of cheeses made with both the exopolysaccharide-producing starter and the adjunct cultures increased 4%, and the use of the exopolysaccharide-producing starter cultures alone increased moisture content 3% over that of the control cheese. Melt also increased in cheeses as moisture content increased.