Freezing as a solution to preserve the quality of dairy products: the case of milk, curds and cheese

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When thinking of the freezing process in dairy, products consumed in frozen state, such as ice creams come to mind. However, freezing is also considered a viable solutions for many other dairy products, due to increasing interest to reduce food waste and to create more robust supply chains. Freezing is a solution to production seasonality, or to extend the market reach for high-value products with otherwise short shelf life. This review focuses on the physical and chemical changes occurring during freezing of milk, curds and cheeses, critical to maintaining quality of the final product. However, freezing is energy consuming, and therefore the process needs to be optimized to maintain product's quality and reduce its environmental footprint. Furthermore, the processing steps leading to the freezing stage may require some changes compared to traditional, fresh products. Unwanted reactions occur at low water activity, and during modifications such as ice crystals growth and recrystallization. These events cause major physical destabilizations of the proteins due to cryoconcentration, including modification of the colloidal-soluble equilibrium. The presence of residual proteases and lipases also cause important modifications to the texture and flavor of the frozen dairy product.
TidsskriftCritical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition
StatusE-pub ahead of print - jul. 2020

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