International collaboration for making a pizza with less fat

A low-fat pizza starts with low-fat cheese. NIZO collaborated in the European (EU) research project CheeseCoat aiming at making mozzarella-type cheese from skimmed milk, bringing the fat content from 21% down to just 3% while maintaining excellent textural, melting and flavour properties.

Reducing fat is a major consumer trend in the food sector related to ensuring a healthy diet. But it is a problem for pizza makers: low-fat cheese doesn’t melt in the same way in the oven. It might be healthier, but it doesn’t have the nice smooth texture customers like.

After screening for specific bacterial cultures at NIZO, in combination with adapted processing, cheese could be made that contains very little (3%) fat and has good texture and flavour properties.

To make low-fat cheese melt as it should engineers have come up with a cheese shred coating solution by spraying. The coating is based on milk fat but it does not raise the total fat content significantly. A 3% fat prototype mozzarella-type cheese could be produced desired properties.

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