• Galactose concentration;
  • Galactose fermentation;
  • Pizza cheese;
  • Selection of lactic cultures;
  • Starter culture techniques

A study was conducted to determine the most suitable lactic culture combinations and the techniques for the preparation of low moisture part skim (LMPS) mozzarella cheese (pizza cheese) with a low level of galactose. The cheesemaking time tested for all 12 culture combinations was less than 3 h and hence was found suitable for pizza cheesemaking. The initial accumulated galactose concentration was lower in unstretched curd followed by no-brine curd and stretched curd in ascending order. During storage of the cheese for 7 days, the galactose percentage in the cheeses prepared using cultures comprising galactose-fermenting strains of Lactobacillus helveticus and Streptococcus thermophilus was 0.30 in stretched curd, 0.04 in unstretched curd and 0.03 in no-brine curd. The degree of reduction in the level of galactose in pizza cheese during storage was maximum with the no-brine curd technique followed by the unstretched and stretched curd techniques in that order. This study provides information regarding selection of starter culture combinations and techniques for pizza cheesemaking based on consumer preference for low or moderate browning mozzarella cheese as a result of its galactose concentration.