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Abstract

Gels formed from milk by renneting or acidification under quiescent conditions may subsequently show syneresis, i.e. expel liquid (whey), because the gel (curd) contracts. Under quiescent conditions, a rennet-induced gel may lose two thirds of its volume, and up to 90% or even more, if external pressure is applied. Often, syneresis is undesired, e.g. during storage of products like yoghurt, sour cream, cream cheese or quark; hence, it is useful to know under what conditions syneresis can be (largely) prevented. In making cheese from renneted or acidified milk, syneresis is an essential step. Consequently, it is useful to understand and quantitatively describe syneresis as a function of milk properties and process conditions, particularly when new methods or process steps are introduced in cheesemaking. This concerns several aspects:
  • regulation of water content of the cheese implies controlling syneresis;

  • the rate of syneresis affects the method of processing, and thereby the equipment and time needed, and the losses of fat and protein in the whey;

  • rate of syneresis in relation to other changes (e.g. acidification, proteolysis, inactivation of rennet enzymes) affects cheese composition and properties;

  • the way in which syneresis of curd grains proceeds may affect the propensity of the grains to fuse into a continuous mass during shaping and/or pressing;

  • differences in syneresis throughout a mass of curd cause differences in composition of the cheese between loaves of one batch and between sites in one loaf;

  • after a cheese loaf has been formed, it may still show syneresis and hence moisture loss.

(Note: throughout this chapter we will use the word ‘moisture’ for any liquid that may move through curd or cheese; it is thus generally an aqueous solution and not just water.)

Keywords

Skim Milk Loss Tangent Casein Micelle Elongational Viscosity Activation Free Energy 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 1993

Authors and Affiliations

  • P. Walstra
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Food ScienceWageningen Agricultural UniversityWageningenThe Netherlands

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