Water status and dynamics of high-moisture Mozzarella cheese as affected by frozen and refrigerated storage

Marcello Alinovi*, Milena Corredig, Germano Mucchetti, Eleonora Carini

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journal/Conference contribution in journal/Contribution to newspaperJournal articleResearchpeer-review


High-moisture Mozzarella is one of the most exported cheeses worldwide, but affected by short shelf-life. Freezing can help to reduce waste, but its effect on quality needs to be considered. In this study, the physico-chemical changes of Mozzarella occurring during frozen storage and subsequent refrigerated storage (after thawing) were evaluated. Frozen cheeses stored at −18 °C between 1 and 4 months showed microstructural damage and different physical, textural, sensory properties. With NMR relaxometry it was possible to observe freeze-related dehydration of caseins, by measuring the changes in water relaxation times within the matrix. These modifications were confirmed by microstructural observations that showed the formation of larger serum channels in samples subjected to freezing, compared with fresh cheeses. Sensory evaluation showed skin peeling off in frozen samples. By observing the changes at various length scales it was therefore possible to identify the critical points affecting HM Mozzarella cheese quality during frozen storage.

Original languageEnglish
Article number109415
JournalFood Research International
Number of pages12
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2020


  • Covering liquid
  • Expressible serum
  • Frozen storage
  • Mozzarella cheese
  • NMR relaxometry
  • Water holding capacity


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