Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: October 25, 2006
Publication Date: N/A
Technical Abstract: The demand for Hispanic-style cheeses has grown tremendously in the U.S. because of the increasing Hispanic population, the popularity of the Mexican/Latin American cuisine, and the unique quality traits of the cheeses. A few areas of concern for manufacturers of Hispanic-style cheeses include the lack of definitions for the cheeses (no federal standards of identity) and the multiple names associated with the cheeses (which can confuse the consumer). The cheese group in the Dairy Processing & Products Research Unit (DPPRU) at ERRC, ARS, USDA, Wyndmoor, PA has been examining the manufacturing protocols and properties of selected Hispanic-style cheeses in order to understand their quality traits. Samples of commercial Asadero, Cotija, Menonita/Chihuahua, Oaxaca, Panela, Queso Blanco, and Queso Fresco were assayed to determine their chemical, physical, functional, and textural properties. For two of the specific styles, Queso Fresco and Menonita, we have developed a collaboration with Mexican researchers to study the traditionally-made cheeses to determine how versions made from pasteurized milk differ from the raw milk originals. By understanding the differences among the Hispanic-style cheeses and how they arose, the DPPRU is helping to develop guidance to the industry to manufacture the Hispanic-style cheeses that the American consumers are demanding.