Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: January 18, 2008
Publication Date: N/A
Technical Abstract: Hispanic-style (or Latin American) cheeses are cheeses that were developed in Mexico, Latin America, and the Caribbean. They have seen tremendous growth in the U.S. over the last decade because of the expanding Hispanic population and the growing popularity of Latino cuisine. Currently, it is difficult to classify many of the cheeses because there is considerable variation in names and traits among cheeses based on country and region of origin; a lack of Standards of Identity for Hispanic-style cheeses in the U.S.; and, relatively little quantitative information about the quality traits of these cheeses. The Dairy Processing and Products Research Unit, Eastern Regional Research Center, ARS, USDA, Wyndmoor, PA, has a project currently in place entitled “Processing methods for Hispanic-style cheeses with unique functional properties.” One of the goals of this project is to understand the manufacturing and quality traits of Hispanic-style cheeses in order to provide guidance to the industry in giving the consumer high-quality Hispanic-style cheeses with improved shelf life and ensured safety. We are using a variety of approaches to understand the factors that impact the chemical and microbiological compositions, sensory traits, and functional and rheological properties of three specific Hispanic-style cheeses. This presentation will summarize our research on Queso Chihuahua, Queso Fresco, and Queso Blanco.