The methods available for measuring organic P and bound Ca in cheese are either cumbersome or involve dilution of the cheese. Dilution of the cheese can lead to erroneous results, particularly in the case of bound Ca. Hence, the objective of this study was to evaluate the feasibility of Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy for direct measurement of organic P and bound Ca in Cheddar cheese. Two hundred sixteen samples of cheese were analyzed for protein-bound organic P, bound Ca using a water-extraction based method, and buffering curves. Additionally, the infrared spectra of the cheeses were collected between 4,000 and 650 cm-1, at a resolution of 4 cm -1, and 256 scans per sample. The spectral shifts in the infrared region from 1,050 to 900 cm-1, in addition to the measured concentrations of organic P, bound Ca, and buffering peak area at pH 5.1, were used to develop calibration models using partial least squares (PLS) regression analysis. The spectral region of 956 to 946 cm-1 correlated with the measured concentrations of organic P and the overall PLS model had a correlation (R2) of 0.76 between the predicted and measured concentrations. The spectral region at ∼980 cm-1 was correlated with the measured concentrations of bound Ca, and the overall PLS model had a correlation (R 2) of 0.70 between the predicted and measured concentrations. A similar spectral region at ∼980 cm-1 was also correlated with the measured buffering peak areas and the overall PLS model had a correlation (R2) of 0.64 between the predicted and measured peak areas. A linear regression analysis between the bound Ca and buffering peak area demonstrated that bound Ca was correlated (R2 = 0.73) with buffering peak area. This study demonstrates that FTIR can be used to measure organic P in cheeses. It also has the potential to be used for measuring bound Ca in undiluted cheeses, and for prediction of the buffering capacity of cheese.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
We thank Dairy Management Inc. (Rosemont, IL), and Midwest Dairy Association (St. Paul, MN) for funding this project.
- Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy