Research-Article| Volume 72, ISSUE 3, P591-603, March 1989

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Development of a Quantitative Model for Enzyme-Catalyzed, Time-Dependent Changes in Protein Composition of Cheddar Cheese During Storage

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      To determine changes in protein composition in long-term storage of cheese, two types of cheese, traditional Cheddar and stirred curd Cheddar, were studied. The degradation of caseins in both cheeses during the process of ripening was evaluated by SDS-PAGE and densitometry. Relationships between the method of cheese manufacture and the effects of freezing and thawing of cheese at selected ages were studied. During the storage of cheese in the coolers, the ripening process continued, and as the age of the cheese increased, there were partial breakdowns of caseins into fragmentary products and peptides. Nonlinear regression analysis was used to model the time-dependent changes in casein components. From these analyses, “half-lives” for casein changes could be calculated. Notably, αs1-casein disappears with a half-life of 2 wk; half-life of β-casein is 37 wk. Neither young nor aged Cheddar cheese was affected by differences in freezing temperatures, nor were there differences between samples collected before and after freezing, nor were there significant differences between the stirred curd and traditional Cheddars.


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