Dairy Science & Technology

, Volume 92, Issue 5, pp 439–453

Pink discolouration defect in commercial cheese: a review

  • D. F. M. Daly
  • P. L. H. McSweeney
  • J. J. Sheehan
Review Paper

DOI: 10.1007/s13594-012-0079-0

Cite this article as:
Daly, D.F.M., McSweeney, P.L.H. & Sheehan, J.J. Dairy Sci. & Technol. (2012) 92: 439. doi:10.1007/s13594-012-0079-0


Development of a pink color defect is an intermittent but persistent defect in a wide range of ripened cheese varieties (Swiss, Cheddar, Grana, and Italian types) which may or may not contain an added colorant, e.g., annatto. Pink discoloration results in downgrading or rejection of a product with consequential economic loss to producers. Pink discolorations can manifest in a number of ways, e.g., patches at the surface or within the cheese block, or as a uniform pink border occurring below the surface of cheese blocks. Little consensus exists as to what the discolorations and their underlying causes are. This review seeks to provide an overview and interpretation of the underlying factors associated with the defect for both research and commercial audiences. In cheeses without added colorant, pink discoloration has been associated with: certain strains of thermophilic lactobacilli and propionic acid bacteria, Maillard reactions, and microbial pigments (e.g., carotenoids and phenolic compounds), which may be responsible for development of pink-brown or dark brown discoloration. In cheeses with added colorant (usually annatto), the development of pink discoloration has been associated with: alteration of annatto colorant due to factors such as varying pH levels within the cheese matrix (particularly < pH 5.4), oxidation of bixin in storage under high intensity fluorescent lights in display cabinets, presence of oxygen, variations in redox potential, interactions between nitrates and annatto present in plastic surface coating and also due to interactions between colorants, and the use of high heat treatment during processed cheese manufacture.


Pink Discoloration Cheese Defect Annatto Pigment 



些含添加或不添加色素(如胭脂红)的成熟干酪(瑞士、切达、grana和意大利干酪)中出现的粉红色褪色问题是这类干酪经常出现的问题。粉红色褪色导致干酪产品质量下降,同时给生产商造成重大经济损失。粉红色褪色有多种表现形式,如干酪表面出现斑块、内部有断块,干酪断块表面下部边缘出现不均匀的粉红色。关于褪色以及褪色的原因目前还没达成共识。本文概述并诠释影响粉红色褪色的一些相关因素。对于未添加色素的干酪,粉红色褪色与某些嗜热乳酸菌、丙酸菌;美拉德反应和微生物色素(例如类胡萝卜素和酚类化合物)有关,这些因素可能是引起粉褐色或暗褐色褪色的原因。对于添加色素(如胭脂红)的干酪,粉红色褪色与胭脂红颜色的变化有关,而引起该变化的因素有干酪基质pH值的变化(特别是pH值<5.4) ; 干酪在存储和销售过程中高强度荧光造成的胭脂素氧化作用;氧气的存在;氧化还原电位的变化;硝酸盐和胭脂红在塑料包装纸下的相互作用,也可能是由于色素间的相互作用以及干酪生产过程中的高温处理而引起的。


粉红色 褪色 干酪 质量缺陷 胭脂红 色素 

Copyright information

© INRA and Springer-Verlag, France 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • D. F. M. Daly
    • 1
  • P. L. H. McSweeney
    • 2
  • J. J. Sheehan
    • 1
  1. 1.Teagasc Food Research CentreCo. CorkIreland
  2. 2.School of Food and Nutritional SciencesUniversity CollegeCorkIreland

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