Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 5/18/2004
Publication Date: 6/25/2004
Citation: Van Hekken, D.L., Tunick, M.H., Tomasula, P.M., Molina-Corral, F.J., Gardea, A.A. 2004. Characterization of semi-hard cheese from Chihuahua, Mexico. International Dairy Federation Symposium:Cheese Ripening, Characterization, and Technology, Prague, Czech Republic.
Interpretive Summary: n/a
Technical Abstract: The impact of manufacturing protocols on the compositional and rheological properties of semi-hard Mennonite-style cheese manufactured in Chihuahua, Mexico, was determined to characterize this cheese. Cheese samples and manufacturing protocols were obtained from 11 different cheese manufacturers. Nine manufacturers made raw milk cheeses and two made pasteurized milk cheeses. Cheeses were tested at 10 days after manufacture because this style of cheese is usually consumed within two weeks of manufacture. Rheological properties were measured using small amplitude oscillatory strain, torsion, and texture profile analyses. SDS-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis was used to determine protein and peptide profiles. As expected, cheese composition and rheology varied among the manufacturers. Cheese composition ranged from 39 to 43% moisture, 27 to 35% fat, and 22 to 27% protein, with up to 10% proteolysis of the alpha S1-casein. Variations in make procedure resulted in differences in cheese composition and rheology; moisture content correlated (r = -0.86) with cooking temperature (38-45°C); concentration of intact alpha S1-casein correlated (r = -0.83) with time required to drain the whey (5-30 minutes); and hardness, shear stress, and shear rigidity correlated (r = 0.84, 0.90, and 0.94, respectively) with pressing pressure (0.12-0.55 MPa). Total aerobic and anaerobic plate counts ranged from log10 7 to 9 colony forming units (CFU)/g for raw milk cheeses (no starter cultures used) and log10 3 to 8 CFU/g for pasteurized milk cheeses (starter culture added). Pasteurization of the cheesemilk and use of a starter culture resulted in cheeses that were significantly harder, more rigid, and less springy. Mexican Mennonite-style cheeses are defined within certain rheological ranges that identify them as different from other cheeses such as Cheddar or brick. Establishing the basic chemical and physical properties of Mennonite-style cheese as a function of cheesemaking techniques is essential to ensuring consistent quality.