Compositional and Functional Characteristics of Feta-Type Cheese Made from Micellar Casein Concentrate.

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micellar casein concentrate; Feta-type cheese; adjusted yield; hardness; rheological characteristics; cheese color


Micellar casein concentrate (MCC) is a high protein ingredient (obtained by microfiltration of skim milk) with an elevated level of casein as a percentage of total protein (TP) compared to skim milk. It can be used as an ingredient in cheese making. Feta-type cheese is a brined soft cheese with a salty taste and acid flavor. We theorize that Feta-type cheese can be produced from MCC instead of milk, which can improve the efficiency of manufacture and allow for the removal of whey proteins before manufacturing Feta-type cheese. The objectives of this study were to develop a process of producing Feta-type cheese from MCC and to determine the optimum protein content in MCC to make Feta-type cheese. MCC solutions with 3% (MCC-3), 6% (MCC-6), and 9% (MCC-9) protein were prepared and standardized by mixing water, MCC powder, milk permeate, and cream to produce a solution with 14.7% total solids (TS) and 3.3% fat. Thermophilic cultures were added at a rate of 0.4% to MCC solutions and incubated at 35 °C for 3 h to get a pH of 6.1. Subsequently, calcium chloride and rennet were added to set the curd in 20 min at 35 °C. The curd was then cut into cubes, drained for 20 h followed by brining in 23% sodium chloride solutions for 24 h. Compositional analysis of MCC solutions and cheese was carried out. The yield, color, textural, and rheological measurements of Feta-type cheese were evaluated. Feta-type cheese was also made from whole milk as a control. This experiment was repeated three times. The yield and adjusted yield of Feta-type cheese increased from 19.0 to 54.8 and 21.4 to 56.5, respectively, with increasing the protein content in MCC from 3% to 9%. However, increasing the protein content in MCC did not show significant differences in the hardness (9.2–9.7 kg) of Feta-type cheese. The color of Feta-type cheese was less white with increasing the protein content in MCC. While the yellowish and greenish colors were high in Feta-type cheese made from MCC with 3% and 6% protein, no visible differences were found in the overall cheese color. The rheological characteristics were improved in Feta-type cheese made from MCC with 6% protein. We conclude that MCC with different levels of protein can be utilized in the manufacture of Feta-type cheese.

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