Manufacture of reduced fat Mozzarella cheese using ultrafiltered sweet buttermilk and homogenized cream.
Reduced fat Mozzarella cheese was manufactured from 0.5% fat milk that was standardized with unhomogenized or homogenized cream, from 0.5% fat milk with 3 or 5% ultrafiltered sweet buttermilk, or from ultrafiltered milk and homogenized cream. Curds were cheddared to a pH of 5.1 to 5.3, iced overnight, hand-stretched, brined for 10.5 h, vacuum-packaged, and stored at 4°C for 5 wk. The fat content in the cheeses ranged from 11.23 to 12.71%, and the moisture content ranged from 48.14 to 50.52%. The homogenization of the cream lowered the free oil content by 49%, and ultrafiltered buttermilk lowered it further. The percentage of free oil increased over time in all treatments. Homogenization of the cream did not affect the meltability of cheeses, but use of ultrafiltered buttermilk lowered meltability. Cheeses with 5% ultrafiltered buttermilk were the softest and had the highest scores for body and texture. Storage had no effect on hardness or on body and texture. Micrographs of cheeses from homogenized cream revealed many small fat globules. Cheeses with ultrafiltered buttermilk had a spongy and open protein matrix.