The sensory properties of low-fat cheeses often don’t match those of their full-fat counterparts.
Fat, taste and texture defects are perceived, especially when fat content is decreased below 20%.
Until recently the multiple functions of fat in cheese were poorly understood.
NIZO set up a consortium to fill this gap. Together with Bel Leerdammer, CONO Kaasmakers, CZ Rouveen and DOC Kaas we are working towards zero-fat cheeses with excellent consumer acceptance.
Functions of fat
Eva Dusterhoft and her colleagues compared texture, flavour and microstructure of full- and low-fat cheeses, not only as such, but also as a function of oral processing. “We manipulated the key functions of fat in a systematic way in order to identify steering parameters for improvement.”
“We found for instance that fat coalescence is highly important for the creamy perception and mouth feel.” Promising lab-scale approaches based on such findings are directly tested in cheese trials in the plants of the partners. “This is important,” concludes Dusterhoft, “The close cooperation with the consortium partners, testing concepts in their plants and sharing industrial experience, guarantee that by the end of 2009, we'll have delivered solutions ready to be implemented.”