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Effect of frozen and refrigerated storage on proteolysis and physicochemical properties of high-moisture citric mozzarella cheese

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High-moisture mozzarella is one of the most-exported Italian cheeses worldwide, but its quality is affected by storage. Freezing is regarded as a solution to decrease product waste, extend market reach, and increase convenience, but its effect on quality has to be estimated. In this study, the details related to proteolysis, physicochemical properties, and sensory quality parameters of high-moisture mozzarella as a function of frozen storage (1, 3, and 4 mo) and subsequent refrigerated storage after thawing (1, 3, and 8 d) were evaluated. Frozen cheeses stored at −18°C showed a higher extent of proteolysis, as well as different colorimetric and sensory properties, compared with the fresh, nonfrozen control. Sensory evaluation showed the emergence of oxidized and bitter taste after 1 mo of frozen storage, which supports the proteolysis data. The extent of proteolysis of frozen–stored cheese after thawing was greater than that measured in fresh cheese during refrigerated storage. These results help better understand the changes occurring during frozen storage of high-moisture mozzarella cheese and evaluate possible means to decrease the effect of freezing on the cheese matrix.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Dairy Science
Pages (from-to)7775-7790
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2020

    Research areas

  • frozen storage, mozzarella cheese, oxidation, proteolysis

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