Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 4/30/2010
Publication Date: 8/22/2010
Citation: Tunick, M.H. 2010. MOLECULES TO MOZZARELLA: THE CHEMISTRY OF CHEESE. Meeting Abstract. AGFD:232.
Interpretive Summary: n/a
Technical Abstract: Almost ten billion pounds of cheese are produced in the US each year, and chemistry is involved in every step of the manufacturing process. The milk coagulates into a curd when starter culture bacteria digest lactose and rennet enzyme destabilizes casein micelles. Cooking and piling the curd forces out whey and fuses the micelles into a matrix, addition of salt helps control microbial growth, and aging leads to protein and fat breakdown by enzymes added to the milk and produced by microorganisms, generating characteristic textures and flavors. Changes in physical chemistry of cheese may be monitored by electron microscopy and rheology, and chromatographic techniques allow flavor compounds to be identified. Differences in cheesemaking procedures lead to a wide range of varieties, which chemists study in order to provide products that are more acceptable to consumers