An empirical test to evaluate the postmelt chewiness of Mozzarella cheese was developed. In the empirical test, 30 g of shredded Mozzarella cheese was placed in a metal form, covered with aluminum foil, and melted in a forced-air oven for 10 min at 125°C. The cheese was cooled from 72 to 49°C and cut into uniform 13-× 13-mm pieces. The cheese pieces were transferred to a Stomacher® bag, 60 ml of 38°C water was added, and the sample was blended for 20 s with a Stomacher®. The slurry was passed through a nested stack of sieves, and the percentage of cheese solids caught in each sieve was determined. A cheese that was chewy remained in large pieces during the empirical test, and a large percentage of the cheese solids were caught in the sieves. If a cheese was not chewy, it was broken into small pieces, and a large percentage of the cheese solids passed through the sieves. The results from the empirical test were compared to sensory evaluation of postmelt chewiness in two experiments. In the first experiment, both the empirical and sensory tests of postmelt chewiness could distinguish significant differences in postmelt chewiness between low-fat and low-moisture, part-skim Mozzarella cheeses. In the second experiment, both the empirical and sensory tests could distinguish significant differences and produced similar postmelt chewiness rankings of five commercial low-moisture, part-skim Mozzarella cheeses. In both experiments a larger portion of the experimental variation was explained by the empirical test data than by sensory evaluation data. The empirical postmelt chewiness test is a simple, quantitative method and can be used to evaluate the postmelt chewiness of Mozzarella cheese.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
The authors thank Joanna Lynch, Maureen Chapman, Laura Landolf, Pat Wood, and Tom Burke for technical support and the Northeast Dairy Foods Research Center and Dairy Management Inc. for financial support.
- Mozzarella cheese
- Postmelt chewiness