Quality Improvement of Cheese Spread
Final technical rept. 25 Mar 2005-15 Aug 2008
TENNESSEE UNIV KNOXVILLE INST OF AGRICULTURE EXPERIMENT STATION
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Cheese spread is a popular component used in the U.S. military feeding program in Meal, Ready to-Eat MRE rations. Currently, the military requires a 3-yr shelf life if stored at 80 F. However, due to product deployment into very warm climates, it would be beneficial to improve shelf life stability so that the product can withstand higher storage temperatures. In order to provide good quality at elevated temperatures, a systematic approach to ingredient evaluation was required. Problems with the existing cheese spread include darkening, hardening, and emulsion instability during storage at elevated temperatures. These quality parameters were studied as affected by cheese age and each of four main additives stabilizers, colorants, emulsifying salts, and vitamins due to required fortification with C, A, B1 and B6. Effects were studied in samples produced in pilot plant Phase 1 and in batches produced on commercial scale in Portion Pac Phase 2. Results indicate that the greatest improvement of the product would be removal of vitamin C or all vitamins due to the increased effect of non-enzymatic browning and potential textural changes in fortified product. Partial substitution of current stabilizer with carrageenan was suggested as it maintained a softer texture throughout analysis with less overall hardening.
- Food, Food Service and Nutrition