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J Dairy Sci. 2006 Nov;89(11):4114-25.

Improving the yield of Mozzarella cheese by phospholipase treatment of milk.

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Institute of Food Science, Royal Veterinary and Agricultural University, Copenhagen, Denmark.


Part-skim Mozzarella cheese was manufactured from milk hydrolyzed with fungal phospholipase A1 prior to renneting. The phospholipase treatment reduced fat losses in whey and cooking water and increased cheese yield as a result of improved fat and moisture retention in the cheese curd. The amount of phospholipids in the whey was reduced because of improved retention of lysophospholipids in the cheese curd. Water binding in the fresh curds and young cheeses up to 3 wk of storage was investigated by a 1H nuclear magnetic resonance spin-spin relaxation technique. In the fresh curds, 2 dominant water fractions were present, characterized by average spin-spin relaxation times (T2) of 14 and 86 to 89 ms, respectively. These 2 fractions of low- and high-molecular-mobility water were similar in all cheeses and presumed to represent water associated with the casein matrix and water present in the pores. A few hours after manufacture, cheeses made with phospholipase showed decreased T2 of the high-mobility fraction, indicating improved water-holding capacity. It is suggested that lysophospholipids released from the fat globule membranes act as surface-active agents in the cheese curd, helping emulsification of water and fat during processing and reducing syneresis. During 3 wk of storage after manufacture, the mobility of both water fractions increased in all cheeses, but was highest in the cheeses made with phospholipase. The increase in mobility during the first weeks of storage has earlier been ascribed to structural changes in the protein matrix, which in principle could be accelerated because of the higher moisture content. However, the microstructure of phospholipase-treated cheese was investigated by confocal laser scanning microscopy and found to be very similar to the control cheese during processing and up to 28 d of storage. In addition, flowability, stretchability, and browning were acceptable and similar in all the manufactured cheeses. Thus, phospholipase hydrolysis of cheese milk improved the cheese yield without changing the cheese microstructure, and resulted in cheese with functional properties that were identical to traditional Mozzarella cheese.

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