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Effects of Salt Concentration and Freezing on Mozzarella Cheese Texture

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      Abstract

      Compression, beam bending, and sensory evaluation (salt intensity, aged flavor, firmness, cohesiveness, and fibrousness) were used to assess effects of salt concentration (.27 to 2.40%), aging time (3 to 39 days at 5.6 C), freeze-thaw cycle, and tempering time after thawing (21 days at 5.6 C) on characteristics of low-moisture, part-skim Mozzarella cheese. Temperature of the 2.5-kg cheese loaves during freezing and during thawing changed from −1.1 to −6.7°C for freezing and vice versa for thawing in times of about 6 and 5 h respectively. None of the sensory nor mechanical tests detected a consistent and statistically significant effect of the freeze-thaw cycle on characteristics of Mozzarella cheese. Increases in salt concentration caused increases in firmness, in force at 50% compression, and decreases in cohesiveness and in maximum bending distance of cheese samples. Increases of aging time and storage time after thawing resulted in softening of cheese, the magnitude of which depended on salt concentration.

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