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J Dairy Sci. 2009 May;92(5):1856-63. doi: 10.3168/jds.2008-1761.

Production of fresh Cheddar cheese curds with controlled postacidification and enhanced flavor.

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Food Research and Development Centre, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, 3600 Casavant Blvd. West, Saint-Hyacinthe, Quebec, Canada J2S 8E3.


Cheddar cheese in curd form is very popular in eastern Canada. It is retailed immediately after cheese manufacturing and can be maintained at room temperature for 24 h to provide better texture and mouthfeel. Subsequently, the cheese curds must be stored at 4 degrees C. The shelf life is generally 3 d. In this study, Cheddar cheese curds were produced by adding a high diacetyl flavor-producing strain (Lactococcus diacetylactis) to a thermophilic-based starter. The objective was to achieve both postacidification stability to increase the shelf life and enhanced flavor. The addition of L. diacetylactis increased processing time but did not affect cheese composition or the evolution of proteolysis and texture. During cheese manufacturing, streptococci became the dominant microflora in all cheeses, whereas populations of Lactococcus cremoris and L. diacetylactis decreased. During cheese storage, viable counts of L. diacetylactis and Streptococcus thermophilus increased but the counts of L. cremoris decreased. During cheese manufacturing and storage, the concentrations of lactic acid and diacetyl increased rapidly in cheeses produced with L. diacetylactis. Citric acid and galactose contents remained high in cheese made without L. diacetylactis. Sensory evaluation indicated that cheeses containing the L. diacetylactis strain were more flavorful and also had less sourness and could be stored at 4 degrees C for up to 7 d.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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