Cheese as an Ingredient

  • Patrick F. Fox
  • Timothy P. Guinee
  • Timothy M. Cogan
  • Paul L. H. McSweeney
Chapter

Summary

While most natural cheeses are consumed directly as table cheese, which can be eaten directly or with crackers or bread, they are also used extensively as ingredients in culinary dishes. Nevertheless, cheeses are in many cases manufactured specifically for use as an ingredient rather than as table cheese. The manufacture of ingredient cheeses involves protocols which impart specific functionalities, such as controlled textural/rheological properties (e.g., sliceability, shreddability or crumbliness) and cooking properties (e.g., Mozzarella with customized flow and stringiness suited to specific pizza brands). Ingredient cheeses are used in an array of culinary dishes, formulated food products and ready-prepared meals. The types and level of functional attributes required from ingredient cheeses depend on the application in which they are used. The functionalities of the unheated and heated cheese are key quality determinants of ingredient cheese. These are strongly influenced by micro- and macrostructure. At a microstructural level, rennet-curd cheese is a matrix comprised of a calcium phosphate para-casein network, which imbibes the cheese serum (moisture and dissolved solids) and encases the fat phase. The network may be viewed as a polymer network, in which the casein polymers are cross-linked mainly by calcium and calcium phosphate. The degree of polymer cross-linking and the relative proportion of fat in the network control the response of the unheated cheese matrix to stresses and strains encountered during the size-reduction processes involved in shredding, grating or eating, and the response of the heated cheese during baking and grilling. At the macrostructural level, cheese is an assembly of fused curd particles (microstructures), with the extent of fusion depending on both the microstructure of the curd particles and the processes to which the curd particles are subjected such as salting, moulding, texturizing and pressing. Hence, a key approach in designing ingredient cheeses with target functionalities is the control of cheesemaking operations that affect the microstructure and macrostructure.

Cheese functionality is dynamic, changing with storage time owing to ongoing biochemical changes including proteolysis and lipolysis which affect flavour and rheology. Hence, there is a time window within which functionality is optimal, depending on the application.

Significant volumes of natural cheese are converted to processed cheese products which are used extensively as ingredient cheese products. Processing enables the functional characteristics of the natural cheese to be modified, extended and/or stabilized to varying degrees.

In contrast to ingredient cheeses, cheese ingredients are products derived from cheese by subjecting it to secondary processing treatments; examples include cheese powders and enzyme-modified cheeses (EMCs). Cheese ingredients are used primarily as flavorings in an extensive array of snack and formulated food products.

Keywords

Cheese as an ingredient Cheese-derived ingredients Functionality Uses 

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Suggested Reading

  1. Guinee TP (2011) Effects of natural cheese characteristics and processing conditions on rheology and texture. In: Tamime AY (ed) Processed cheese and analogues. Wiley, Chichester, pp 81–109CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Guinee TP (2016) Protein in cheese and cheese products: structure-function relationships. In Advanced dairy chemistry, vol 1B: Proteins: Applied Aspects. Springer Science+Business Media LLC, New York pp 347-415.Google Scholar
  3. Guinee TP, Kilcawley KN (2004) Cheese as an ingredient. In: Fox PF, McSweeney PLH, Cogan TM, Guinee TP (eds) Cheese chemistry, physics and microbiology, vol. 2: major cheese groups, 3rd edn. Elsevier Academic, Oxford, pp 395–428Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer New York 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Patrick F. Fox
    • 1
  • Timothy P. Guinee
    • 2
  • Timothy M. Cogan
    • 2
  • Paul L. H. McSweeney
    • 1
  1. 1.School of Food and Nutritional SciencesUniversity CollegeCorkIreland
  2. 2.Teagasc Food Research CentreFermoy, CorkIreland

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