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Keywords:

  • process cheese;
  • fat-free;
  • functionality;
  • hydrocolloids

ABSTRACT

Emulsifying salts and hydrocolloids, cook time, cook temperature, and pH were evaluated to characterize their effects on firmness, meltability, and spreadability of fat-free process-cheese spreads. Disodium phosphate and trisodium citrate produced properties closest to those of a full-fat reference cheese, with trisodium citrate providing the most meltability. In all cases, incorporation of hydrocolloids resulted in increased firmness, decreased melt, with varying results on spreadability. Increases in cook time generally produced softer, more meltable cheeses, while increases in cook temperature decreased firmness and increased meltability and spreadability.