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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Effects of Manufacturing Parameters on the Chemical, Functional, and Rheological Properties of Queso Chihuahua


Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: March 6, 2008
Publication Date: July 7, 2008
Citation: Van Hekken, D.L., Tunick, M.H., Kwoczak, R., Shieh, J.J., Tomasula, P.M. 2008. EFFECTS OF MANUFACTURING PARAMETERS ON THE CHEMICAL, FUNCTIONAL, AND RHEOLOGICAL PROPERTIES OF QUESO CHIHUAHUA. Journal of Dairy Science. 91(Suppl.2):17.

Technical Abstract: The quality variations noted among Queso Chihuahua, a semi-hard cheese made in northern Mexico traditionally from raw milk, are due to the diverse manufacturing conditions used to make the cheese, the compositional and microbiological differences in the cheesemilk, and heat treatment (raw versus pasteurized). In this study, we examined the effects of manufacturing parameters on the chemical, functional, and rheological properties of Queso Chihuahua made with pasteurized milk in order to identify the processing steps that result in cheese with properties similar to that of the traditionally-made raw-milk cheese. Based on the results of our earlier survey of manufacturing protocols and quality traits of Queso Chihuahua made in Mexico, we manufactured 36 2-kg blocks of cheeses using different cooking temperatures (32, 38, or 44 deg C), pH at the time of drain (6.0 or 6.3), and overnight pressing pressures (0.96 or 1.9 kPa). Temperature during the cooking step and pressure used in overnight pressing significantly influenced the moisture, protein, salt, and ash content of the cheese as well as the hardness, chewiness, and shear stress, strain and rigidity at the point of fracture. Pressing pressure affected lactose content of the cheese and its viscoelastic properties while cooking temperature impacted the pH of the final cheese. All cheeses had excellent melt properties. Queso Chihuahua cheeses made with pasteurized milk and cooked at 38 deg C, drained of whey at either pH 6.3 or 6.0, and pressed overnight at 1.9 kPa, were the closest in compositional, functional, and rheological properties to the raw-milk cheeses. This study demonstrates that through careful selection of manufacturing conditions cheese makers will be able to develop pasteurized versions of Queso Chihuahua that mimic the traditionally-made cheeses.

Last Modified: 9/29/2014