Reduction of salt (NaCl) losses during the manufacture of Cheddar cheese.
The objective of this study was to evaluate the effects of cheese-making technologies, including homogenization of cream, ultrafiltration, and vacuum condensing of milk, on the retention of salt in Cheddar cheese. One part of pasteurized, separated milk (0.58% fat) was ultrafiltered (55°C, 16.0% protein), another vacuum condensed (12.5% protein), and the third was not concentrated. Cheddar cheese was manufactured using 6 treatments by standardizing unconcentrated milk to a casein-to-fat ratio of 0.74 with unhomogenized 35% fat cream (C), homogenized (6.9 MPa/3.5 MPa) 35% fat cream (CH), ultrafiltered milk and unhomogenized cream (UF), ultrafiltered milk and homogenized cream (UFH), condensed milk and unhomogenized cream (CM), and condensed milk and homogenized cream (CMH). Treatments C and CH had 3.7% fat and 3.5% protein, and the respective values for the remaining treatments were 4.9 and 4.6. The milled curd was dry salted at 2.7% by weight. The salt content of the cheeses receiving homogenization treatment was higher at 1.83 and 1.70% for CH and UFH, respectively, compared with their corresponding controls at 1.33%. The salt content in cheeses from CMH was 1.64% and was not affected by homogenization. Salt retention in C increased from 41.7 to 59.2% in CH, and in UF it increased from 42.5 to 54.5% in UFH. There was a corresponding decrease in the salt content of whey from these cheeses.