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J Dairy Sci. 2008 Jul;91(7):2575-82. doi: 10.3168/jds.2007-0628.

Effects of cutting intensity and stirring speed on syneresis and curd losses during cheese manufacture.

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Teagasc, Moorepark Food Research Centre, Fermoy, Co. Cork, Ireland.


Recombined whole milk was renneted under constant conditions of pH, temperature, and added calcium, and the gel was cut at a constant firmness. The effects of cutting and stirring on syneresis and curd losses to whey were investigated during cheese making using a factorial design with 3 cutting modes designed to provide 3 different cutting intensity levels (i.e., total cutting revolutions), 3 levels of stirring speed, and 3 replications. These cutting intensities and stirring speeds were selected to give a wide range of curd grain sizes and curd shattering, respectively. Both factors affected curd losses, and correct selection of these factors is important in the cheesemaking industry. Decreased cutting intensity and increased stirring speed significantly increased the losses of fines and fat from the curd to the whey. Cutting intensities and stirring speeds in this study did not show significant effects on curd moisture content over the course of syneresis. Levels of total solids, fines, and fat in whey were shown to change significantly during syneresis. It is believed that larger curd particles resulting from low cutting intensities coupled with faster stirring speeds resulted in a higher degree of curd shattering during stirring, which caused significant curd losses.

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