Abstract #W129

# W129
Sensory and functional properties of cheese across three storage temperatures.
Ni Cheng*1, P. D. Gerard2, M. A. Drake1, 1Southeast Dairy Foods Research Center, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC, 2Dept. Mathematical Sciences, Clemson University, Clemson, SC.

Cheese quality influences sales and applications. Storage time and temperature affect cheese quality and may play a crucial role in cheese designated for export markets as optimum quality must be maintained. A mild flavor profile is expected in export markets concurrent with optimum functional properties. The objective of this study was to evaluate sensory and functional properties of 4 cheese types across different storage temperatures. Triplicate lots (18 kg blocks)of cheeses (Cheddar, Monterey Jack, Mozzarella and Gouda) were obtained from 2 commercial facilities and assigned to 4°C, −1°C and −18°C storage. Cheeses were evaluated every 3 mo through 1 year storage. At each time point, sensory evaluation (flavor and texture) and functional tests (moisture, pH, shreddability, sliceability, color, melting, viscosity, and fork stretch) were conducted. Two-way ANOVA (storage time, temperature) as well as multivariate analyses were applied to evaluate the data. Time and storage temperatures had no practical effects on cheese composition or color (P > 0.05). Storage time increased shreddability and melt and decreased sliceability, viscosity and fork stretch values (P < 0.05). Storage at −18°C resulted in smaller increases in shreddability and melt than −1°C or 4°C. There were no differences in shreddability and melt properties for cheeses stored at 4°C or −1°C (P > 0.05).Across storage time, cheeses increased in intensities of typical aged cheese flavors (sulfur and brothy), cheeses stored at lower temperatures maintained young/undeveloped cheese flavors (cooked, whey, milkfat and diacteyl) longer than cheeses stored at 4°C. Texture properties by sensory analysis were unchanged through 6 mo storage, regardless of temperature. These results indicate that a lower temperature (−1°C) may be applied to cheeses for up to 6 mo to maintain sensory quality (young, mild flavor) without detrimental effects on functional properties.

Key Words: cheese, storage, quality