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Chariton Stepanov
Chariton Stepanov

Processed Cheese And Analogues

Cheese analogues (more widely known as cheese alternatives) are products used as culinary replacements for cheese. They are usually products made by blending cheaper fats or proteins and used in convenience foods.[1] The category includes vegan cheeses as well as some dairy-containing products that do not qualify as true cheeses, such as processed cheese. These foods may be intended as replacements for cheese, as with vegan products, or as imitations, as in the case of products used for salad bars and pizza-making, which are generally intended to be mistaken for real cheese, but have properties such as different melting points or lower costs that make them attractive to businesses.[1]

Processed Cheese and Analogues

Vegan cheese may be made from soybeans, rice, almonds, nutritional yeast and other non-dairy ingredients.[2] It is aimed at vegans and others wanting to avoid animal products, for moral, environmental, religious or health reasons, including lactose intolerance or a desire to avoid cholesterol. Vegan cheeses may be lower in fat compared to dairy cheese, are cholesterol-free and are often a source of soy protein and isoflavones. Many have calcium added.[3] Several brands melt similarly to dairy cheese, while others stay mostly firm, or melt only when grated.

One variant of pasteurized processed cheese dairy products is, according to a hospitality industry source, designed to melt well on pizza,[4] while remaining chewy; this has been described as "artificial cheesy substance that's much quicker and cheaper to produce than the real thing".[5] In many cases the dairy fat required for anything described as cheese is replaced by cheaper vegetable oil and additives; this is not illegal if not described as cheese.[6]

This book is an essential resource for manufacturers and users of processed and analogue cheese products internationally; dairy scientists in industry and research; and advanced food science students with an interest in dairy science.

Alternative cheese is a dynamic market. This is the case for the processed cheese market, but more particularly for analogue cheese. This suggests a promising future for cheese applications. Such growth can be explained by different elements, but the central reason is insufficient supplies of local fresh milk in developing countries. That is why Asia and Middle East are the most dynamic zones; they need alternatives to produce cheese.

In response to the growing demand for pizza in emerging markets, analogue cheeses are a cost-effective alternative to traditional cheese. Its key benefit is to preserve the same properties while optimising costs. Ingredients used in imitation cheeses must therefore allow a short hydration time to increase productivity. When analogue cheeses are meant to be used on pizza they must give similar properties to mozzarella: a maximum stretch, a homogeneous melting, and a limited browning.

LACTALIS Ingredients provides an excellent solution to this dilemma by offering a non-standardised skimmed milk powder with specific properties for cheese making. Linked to its high protein content and consequently to its high casein content, the lactose is lower than in standardised milk powder. Moreover, this product undergoes ultra-low heat treatment, drastically limiting protein denaturation and ensuring better functional properties. Thanks to this skimmed milk powder, manufacturers can standardise production by recombining milk to 100 % or less, consequently improving productivity and yield. For these reasons, recombined cheese is the best solution for manufacturers seeking cost reduction and regular product quality on a long-term basis.

Microbial quality of low-salt processed cheeses supplemented with Bacillus coagulans spores (10(7)-10(8) CFU/g) relying on their physicochemical characteristics during 60 day-cold storage was evaluated. A reduction in moisture content, water activity and pH value and a significant enhancement in proteolytic index of control and probiotic samples were obtained by prolonging storage time. Survival rate of the probiotic cells significantly decreased up to day 30, while total count of the viable cells increased by increasing storage time. A 20 and 67 % increase in total counts of coliforms and mold-yeast of the control sample were respectively observed after 60 days of cold storage. A considerable decrease in the total counts of coliforms and mold-yeast was also found in the processed cheeses containing probiotic supplement. According to the macroscopic and sensory assessment, off-odors and off-flavors in the control sample were diagnosed after day 1 of cold-storage. Noticeably, the resistance to spoilage was more prominent in samples containing the probiotic cells.

The focus is on a peanut suspension in which starch is added and that exhibits specific mechanical characteristics relevant for food products. The mixture is composed of water, lipids, starch, and proteins. The process consists of blending together the different constituents, and the study changes the experimental conditions to tune the mechanical behavior of the mixture. The rheological properties (viscosity, indentation) and physical parameters such as color, dry extract, and particle size distribution were measured. The matrix behavior was studied after a centrifugation step necessary to determine stability of the emulsion, and for varying shearing durations. Short shearing duration induce a maximum of firmness, observed by measuring indentation resistance, and a maximum of spreadability, evaluated by shear rheometry. On the contrary, long shearing durations destabilize the matrix emulsion by increasing the oil separation capacity. This study observes structural changes in the rheological behavior of this analogue artificial cheese that correlates with the extent of shearing.

The transformation of peanuts can be achieved by means of many methods, including toasting to make salty snacks, crushing to obtain peanut butter or crushing with water to produce peanut milk. We present here an investigation of making an analogue cheese from peanuts. It should be noted that for a cheese product to be accepted by a consuming population, it needs to have certain characteristics. The most important property is the texture, which is the focus of this study.

Yu et al. (2007) have shown that peanut protein concentrate has the potential to add value to the peanut industry and provide food processors with an affordable source of plant proteins with unique flavor and functional characteristics, such as thickening and emulsifying capacities. For example, Alcalase (Subtilisin) is a serine protease produced by Bacillus licheniformis. It has broad specificity but is mainly used to cleave the carboxyl groups of hydrophobic amino acids (Adler-Nissen, 1986). Alcalase hydrolysis has been employed to increase solubility of the soy protein in combination with transglutaminase in acidic conditions (Walsh et al., 2003). Transglutaminase (TG) is a widely available enzyme in nature that can modify protein covalent bonds by catalyzing acyl transfer between a λ-carboxyamide of a peptide/protein bound glutamine and the lysine residue forming an ɛ-(λ-glutamyl) lysine [ɛ-(λ-Glu)Lys]cross-link (Kuraishi, Yamazaki, & Susa, 2001). This cross-linking results in modified proteins presenting an increased molecular mass. TG is used in the processing of dairy, seafood (surimi), meat, noodle, soybean (tofu, kamaboko) and bakery products to make gels or increase viscosity (Kuraishi, Yamazaki, & Susa, 2001). Studied by Renkema & Jacoba (2002), heat-induced gel formation by soybean proteins involves denaturation, aggregation (in which disulfide bridges play a role), network formation, and gel stiffening. Gel stiffening during prolonged heating is caused by rearrangements in the network structure and probably to some extent by further incorporation of proteins into the network. Gel stiffening during cooling is a thermoreversible process and does, therefore, not involve disulfide bond formation or rearrangements in the network structure. Also, according to Ramel and Marangoni (2017), animal processed cheese microstructure was found to greatly affect the rheological properties of the final product. Results of their study suggest that the embedding of milk fat globules within the protein matrix and/or presence of other ingredients increases the ratio of the β crystalline polymorph to the β' form. In addition to that, Masotti et al. (2018) have shown that the inclusion of starch in analogue cheese formulation modifies the physico-chemical and functional properties of the final product to an extent related to starch type and starch properties, such as shape, size, swelling ability and the amylose/amylopectin ratio. Some of these processes were explored by Guo et al. (2018) who have presented a novel method of preparing peanut tofu by combining transglutaminase (TG) and high-temperature pressure cooking (HTPC, 115 C, 0.17 MPa) treatment, and its gel formation.

Before centrifugation, the sample was fully melted at 50 C for 2 hours (Tfusion(palm oil) = 36-40 C ; Tfusion(peanut oil) = 3 C) (Juliano et al., 2012) which allows the mobility of the fatty molecules that are not trapped inside the cheese.

Enzymatic gelation due to transglutaminase and subtilisin activities contributes to the cheese texture, such as does thermal treatment, by creating a protein network. In addition to this, the thermal treatment will induce a starch gelatinization that creates a second network.

The first grouping is seen on the left quadrant and includes clarity L*. The second grouping of terms is seen on the right quadrant and includes dry matter, OSC and average particle size. All these terms relate to the physical stability of the material, which is clarity negatively correlated to dry matter content and OSC. In this case, negative values on the left quadrant describe a hydrophobic matrix which traps oil and release water during dry matter analysis and, on the contrary, values in the right quadrant describe a hydrophilic matrix which trap water and release oil during centrifugation. Pereira et al. (2001) have shown that increasing moisture tends to produce softer cheese, which has not been evidenced here with this particular peanut matrix. Finally, the rheology and indentation responses are represented more by the PC2 axis which tends to be the firmness and spreadability of the material.


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