Effect of natural cheese characteristics on process cheese properties



Document Type


Publication Date



Journal of Dairy Science








Natural cheese is the major ingredient utilized to manufacture process cheese. The objective of the present study was to evaluate the effect of natural cheese characteristics on the chemical and functional properties of process cheese. Three replicates of 8 natural (Cheddar) cheeses with 2 levels of calcium and phosphorus, residual lactose, and salt-to-moisture ratio (S/M) were manufactured. After 2 mo of ripening, each of the 8 natural cheeses was converted to 8 process cheese foods that were balanced for their composition, including moisture, fat, salt, and total protein. In addition to the standard compositional analysis (moisture, fat, salt, and total protein), the chemical properties (pH, total Ca, total P, and intact casein) and the functional properties [texture profile analysis (TPA), modified Schreiber melt test, dynamic stress rheometry, and rapid visco analysis] of the process cheese foods were determined. Natural cheese Ca and P, as well as S/M, significantly increased total Ca and P, pH, and intact casein in the process cheese food. Natural cheese Ca and P and S/M also significantly affected the final functional properties of the process cheese food. With the increase in natural cheese Ca and P and S/M, there was a significant increase in the TPA-hardness and the viscous properties of process cheese food, whereas the meltability of the process cheese food significantly decreased. Consequently, natural cheese characteristics such as Ca and P and S/M have a significant influence on the chemical and the final functional properties of process cheese.