News / Rheolution Latest News / What is Viscoelasticity?
This application note describes a study performed at the cheese pilot plant of the R&D center of the Canadian department of agriculture & agri-food (Agriculture & Agri-Food Canada) in Saint-Hyacinthe (QC, Canada). The study aimed to measure the influence of the curd firmness and coagulation speed at the time of cutting on the retention rates of fat, protein and solids in cheddar cheese. The CoaguSens™ Connect (Rheolution Inc, Canada) was used to conduct this study.
This study aimed to measure the effect of cutting milk gels (produced by enzymatic coagulation) at four (04) different curd firmnesses on fat, protein and solids retention rates. The type of cheese produced in this study was cheddar. The project also aimed to measure the effect of coagulation speed at cutting time on the different retention rates.
For that purpose, 3 randomized repetitions were performed for each of the four (04) cutting firmnesses. A total of 12 vats were tested from Nov. 2016 to March 2017. 1 vat that showed extreme retention rates (outliers) was withdrawn from this study.
Fat and protein content of the standardized milk used in the study
Coagulation kinetics of the 12 vats tested in this study. The variability of coagulation kinetics (due to the variability of the experimental conditions) was precisely measured by CoaguSens™ Connect.
The parameters and conditions of the experimental study are summarized in the following table:
PARAMETERS MEASURED BY THE COAGUSENS™ CONNECT
— The coagulation speed at cut is the speed at which milk coagulates (measured in Pa/s) at the exact time where the curd cutting was initiated.
— The maximum coagulation speed is the maximum of the coagulation speed curve that represents the milk gel maximum forming rate at the beginning of the coagulation kinetics.
Fat, protein and solids retention rates were calculated with the following formula (example of calculation on fat):
RESULTS & CONCLUSIONS
The results of this study clearly show how cutting firmness affects the retention rate of fat, protein and solids in cheese. The losses are also, as a consequence, significantly affected by the cutting firmness and the milk gel speed of organization. It is noticeable in this study that a lower cutting firmness induced higher retention rates of all valuable ingredients in cheese. The methodology developed in this study may be translated to industrial scale in order to optimize the coagulation kinetics as well as the curd firmness at the critical cutting step.
The below financial calculations were made based on the results and conclusions of the study performed by Agriculture & Agri-Food Canada (AAC-R&D Center in Saint-Hyacinthe, QC, Canada). The financial calculations below are intended to simulate the savings that a typical large size plant could generate over a year if the retention rate of fat, protein and solids is optimized thanks to a better control of the curd cutting firmness.
Related Application Notes
We are your partners in viscoelasticity testing. That’s why our expert corner will be sharing with you, every 3 months, a curated selection of summarized scientific articles and original articles from our team:
- To make your life easier and save you time
- To keep you informed about what’s new in viscoelasticity testing
- To learn more about the various applications of biomaterials