The objective of this research was to use a Rapid Visco Analyzer to study the effect of natural cheese age, trisodium citrate (TSC) concentration, and mixing speed on process cheese food (PCF) functionality. In this study 3 replicates of natural cheese were manufactured, and a portion of each cheese was subjected to 6 different PCF manufacturing treatments at 2, 4, 6, 12, and 18 wk of ripening. These treatments were factorial combinations of 3 levels of TSC (i.e., 2.0, 2.5, and 3.0%) and 2 mixing speeds during manufacture (450 and 1,050 rpm). Functional properties of the PCF evaluated included manufacturing properties [apparent viscosity after manufacture (VAM)], unmelted textural properties (firmness), melted cheese flow properties [hot apparent viscosity (HAV)], and cheese thickening during cooling [time at 5000 cP (TS)]. All 4 parameters (VAM, firmness, HAV, and T5) were significantly affected by natural cheese age and mixing speed, whereas VAM, HAV, and T5 were also significantly influenced by the amount of TSC. The VAM and firmness decreased as cheese age increased, whereas T5 values increased as cheese age increased. Similarly, VAM, HAV, and firmness values increased because of the increased mixing speed, whereas T5 values decreased. The age × mixing speed interaction was significant for VAM and firmness. The age × concentration of the TSC interaction term was significant for VAM, whereas the age × age × TSC concentration term was significant for HAV. The results demonstrate that natural cheese age, mixing speed during manufacture, and concentration of TSC have a significant impact on process cheese functionality.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
The authors would like to thank the Midwest Dairy Association Inc. (St. Paul, MN) for funding this work.
- Emulsifying salts
- Process cheese
- Unmelted texture