Preservation of precut white cheese by modified atmosphere packaging


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Effects of modified atmosphere packaging (MAP) on storage stability and quality of precut fresh and aged white cheese were investigated. Fresh or aged white cheese was cut into small cubes and packaged in five different atmospheres [0% O2 + 0% CO+ 100% N2 (MAP1), 10% O+ 0% CO+ 90% N2 (MAP2), 0% O+ 75% CO+ 25% N2 (MAP3), 10% O+ 75% CO+ 15% N2 (MAP4) and aerobic (air)]. Control samples were packaged in brine and vacuum for fresh and aged white cheese, respectively. Changes in gas composition, total plate count, lactococci, lactobacilli, yeast and mould counts, proteolysis, lipolysis, pH, colour, texture and sensory properties were investigated during refrigerated storage. The best packaging treatment for the fresh cheese was MAP3, as it inhibited mould growth and protected the hardness. MAP2 can be recommended for the packaging of the aged cheese, as it decreased lipolysis.