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J Dairy Sci. 2006 Aug;89(8):3250-9.

Effects of atmospheric composition on respiratory behavior, weight loss, and appearance of Camembert-type cheeses during chamber ripening.

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Unité Mixte de Recherche Génie et Microbiologie des Procédés Alimentaires, Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique, F 78 850 Thiverval Grignon, France.


Respiratory activity, weight loss, and appearance of Camembert-type cheeses were studied during chamber ripening in relation to atmospheric composition. Cheese ripening was carried out in chambers under continuously renewed, periodically renewed, or nonrenewed gaseous atmospheres or under a CO(2) concentration kept constant at either 2 or 6% throughout the chamber-ripening process. It was found that overall atmospheric composition, and especially CO(2) concentration, of the ripening chamber affected respiratory activity. When CO(2) was maintained at either 2 or 6%, O(2) consumption and CO(2) production (and their kinetics) were higher compared with ripening trials carried out without regulating CO(2) concentration over time. Global weight loss was maximal under continuously renewed atmospheric conditions. In this case, the airflow increased exchanges between cheeses and the atmosphere. The ratio between water evaporation and CO(2) release also depended on atmospheric composition, especially CO(2) concentration. The thickening of the creamy underrind increased more quickly when CO(2) was present in the chamber from the beginning of the ripening process. However, CO(2) concentrations higher than 2% negatively influenced the appearance of the cheeses.

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