Abstract #T191

# T191
Characteristics of cheese powders and the role of color on consumer perception of cheese flavor.
Ni Cheng*1, Yeijin Jo1, M. A. Drake1, 1Southeast Dairy Foods Research Center, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC.

Cheese powder is applied in many food applications including sauces and snacks. Cheese flavor is a consumer expectation of these applications. The objective of this study was to characterize the properties of cheese powders and to explore the role of color on consumer perception of cheese flavor on cheese powder applications. Duplicate samples of 11 commercial cheese powders were collected. Proximate analyses (moisture, fat, salt, color, pH) were conducted. Cheese powders were rehydrated and evaluated with a trained panel using an established cheese flavor lexicon. Volatile compounds were extracted by solid phase micro-extraction (SPME) followed by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS). Seven representative powders were selected from trained panel sensory results, applied to potato chips, and evaluated by 113 consumers. Consumers evaluated expected liking and cheese flavor before tasting (visual only) and after tasting. Moisture, fat, salt and pH of cheese powders varied (1.40–4.73%, 0.77–47.74%, 1.68–13.99% and 4.56–6.88, respectively). Color varied from white to dark orange. Cheese powders were characterized by a variety of natural cheese flavor attributes including milky, whey, diacetyl, sulfur, brothy, nutty, and free fatty acid and basic tastes. The major aroma-active volatile compounds in cheese powders were dimethyl sulfide, dimethyl disulfide, dimethyl trisulfide, methional, 2/3-methylbutanal, guaiacol, 1-octen-3-ol, diacetyl and volatile free fatty acids. Consumers associated orange color with higher cheesy color liking and higher expected cheese flavor compared with white cheese powders (P < 0.05). Diacetyl and whey flavors with salty and sour tastes were perceived as “cheesy” by consumers. Orange color in cheese powders enhanced consumer cheese flavor expectations while diacetyl and whey flavors and salty and sour tastes increased cheese flavor on potato chips.

Key Words: cheese powder, cheese flavor, color