Location: Dairy and Functional Foods ResearchTitle: The character of Queso Chihuahua
Submitted to: Newest Development in Food Safety Research, Food Processing, and Process Development
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: 1/13/2016
Publication Date: N/A
Technical Abstract: Meeting consumer demand for safe, high quality Hispanic-style cheese is problematic for cheese makers because of the lack of data on the quality traits of many of these cheeses. Our research on the Mexican cheese Queso Chihuahua (QC) determined many factors that influenced its quality traits and helped to identify the defining characteristics found in the authentic raw milk cheeses that needed to be preserved in pasteurized versions. In evaluating the chemical, functional, rheological, sensorial, and microbiological properties of multiple brands of commercial Mexican QC manufactured from raw milk (RM) or pasteurized milk (PM), our research established the character traits and processing nuances of QC. Results showed that although composition and meltability tended to be tightly clustered among the brands, there were seasonal trends in the composition and rheology of RM QC. Study of the microflora in RM QC that contributed to the aroma and flavor differences between the RM and PM cheeses resulted in a starter culture blend specific for QC made from pasteurized milk. This research laid the foundation for approaches that lead to improvement of cheese quality to support market growth and expand the consumers’ choice for safe, high quality ethnic cheeses.