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J Dairy Sci. 2004 Apr;87(4):841-53.

Reduced-fat cheddar cheese manufactured using a novel fat removal process.

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  • 1Northeast Dairy Foods Research Center, Department of Food Science, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853, USA.


Normally, reduced-fat Cheddar cheese is made by removal of fat from milk prior to cheese making. Typical aged flavor may not develop when 50% reduced-fat Cheddar cheese is produced by this approach. Moreover, the texture of the reduced-fat cheeses produced by the current method may often be hard and rubbery. Previous researchers have demonstrated that aged Cheddar cheese flavor intensity resides in the water-soluble fraction. Therefore, we investigated the feasibility of fat removal after the aging of Cheddar cheese. We hypothesized the typical aged cheese flavor would remain with the cheese following fat removal. A physical process for the removal of fat from full-fat aged Cheddar cheese was developed. The efficiency of fat removal at various temperatures, gravitational forces, and for various durations of applied forces was determined. Temperature had the greatest effect on the removal of fat. Gravitational force and the duration of applied force were less important at higher temperatures. A positive linear relationship between temperature and fat removal was observed from 20 to 33 degrees C. Conditions of 30 degrees C and 23,500 x g for 5 min removed 50% of the fat. The removed fat had some aroma but little or no taste. The fatty acid composition, triglyceride molecular weight distribution, and melting profile of the fat retained in the reduced-fat cheeses were all consistent with a slight increase in the proportion of saturated fat relative to the full-fat cheeses. The process of fat removal decreased the grams of saturated fat per serving of cheese from 6.30 to 3.11 g. The flavor intensity of the reduced-fat cheeses were at least as intense as the full-fat cheeses.

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