Reduced Fat Process Cheese Made from Young reduced fat Cheddar Cheese Manufactured with Exopolysaccharides-Producing Cultures.



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Journal of Dairy Science








In a previous study, exopolysaccharide (EPS)-producing cultures improved textural and functional properties of reduced fat Cheddar cheese. Because base cheese has an impact on the characteristics of process cheese, we hypothesized that the use of EPS-producing cultures in making base reduced fat Cheddar cheese (BRFCC) would allow utilization of more young cheeses in making reduced fat process cheese. The objective of this study was to evaluate characteristics of reduced fat process cheese made from young BRFCC containing EPS as compared with those in cheese made from a 50/50 blend of young and aged EPS-negative cheeses. Reduced fat process cheeses were manufactured using young (2 d) or 1-mo-old EPS-positive or negative BRFCC. Moisture and fat of reduced fat process cheese were standardized to 49 and 21%, respectively. Enzyme modified cheese was incorporated to provide flavor of aged cheese. Exopolysaccharide-positive reduced fat process cheese was softer, less chewy and gummy, and exhibited lower viscoelastic moduli than the EPS-negative cheeses. The hardness, chewiness, and viscoelastic moduli were lower in reduced fat process cheeses made from 1-mo-old BRFCC than in the corresponding cheeses made from 2-d-old BRFCC. This could be because of more extensive proteolysis and lower pH in the former cheeses. Sensory scores for texture of EPS-positive reduced fat process cheeses were higher than those of the EPS-negative cheeses. Panelists did not detect differences in flavor between cheeses made with enzyme modified cheese and aged cheese. No correlations were found between the physical and melting properties of base cheese and process cheese.