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ARS Home » Northeast Area » Wyndmoor, Pennsylvania » Eastern Regional Research Center » Dairy and Functional Foods Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #258760

Title: The effect of milling on proteins in model Queso Fresco cheeses

item Paul, Moushumi
item Nunez, Alberto
item Van Hekken, Diane

Submitted to: Advances in Bioscience and Biotechnology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 11/10/2011
Publication Date: 2/1/2012
Citation: Paul, M., Nunez, A., Van Hekken, D.L. 2012. The effect of milling on proteins in model Queso Fresco cheeses. Advances in Bioscience and Biotechnology. 3:1-6.

Interpretive Summary: There are many steps involved in cheese making that affect the overall taste and texture of the final product. Milling is a process used to grind the cheese curd into small pieces to ensure crumbliness and is traditionally used in the making of Queso Fresco in Mexico. Mexican Queso Fresco is a cheese that must be eaten quickly and has a limited shelf life in part because of the rapid breakdown of proteins. Different milling techniques were used in the making of model Queso Fresco cheeses to determine the effects on the protein breakdown within these cheeses. Protein degradation in these samples was analyzed and quantified over an eight-week storage period. The results of this study show that different milling processes did not affect the extent of protein breakdown, and compared to native Queso Fresco, there is substantially less degradation over eight weeks of storage at 4 deg C in these cheeses, suggesting they will have a much longer shelf life in American markets and households.

Technical Abstract: One of the manufacturing factors important in traditional raw milk Queso Fresco (QF) made in Mexico is the milling of the fresh curd. The aim of this study is to assess the effect of milling procedures on protein composition in a model Queso Fresco, made according to U. S. quality standards from pasteurized milk and without starter cultures. Mass spectrometric and gel electrophoretic analysis of aged milled cheeses show minimal changes in protein content without differences among the milling techniques. After eight weeks of 4 deg C storage, regardless of milling type, these cheeses are very similar to the fresh samples. Aged cheeses with minimal proteolysis imply an extended shelf life. Thus, inclusion of the fine milling step in the manufacture of Queso Fresco from pasteurized milk has minimal influence on the proteolysis during storage.