• Mozzarella cheese;
  • calcium;
  • rheological characteristics;
  • regression models;
  • correlation

ABSTRACT: Correlation and regression analyses of calcium concentration and rheological characteristics in Mozzarella cheese were studied. Part-skim and fat-free Mozzarella cheeses were manufactured on 4 separate occasions. Calcium concentration in both types of cheeses was manipulated at 4 different levels. Rheological characteristics such as melt area, softening, melting, and flow were studied on days 1, 7, 15, and 30. The results revealed that 57%, 52%, 66%, 74%, 67%, and 53% variation, respectively, in melt area, softening temperature, softening time, melting time, flow rate, and extent of flow could be explained as a function of calcium concentration of part-skim Mozzarella cheese. Calcium concentration explained 50%, 61%, and 43% variation, respectively, in melting time, flow rate and extent of flow, but poor correlation existed between calcium concentration and melt area, softening and melting time-temperatures of fat-free Mozzarella cheese. Calcium concentration, among all compositional parameters, was highly correlated with rheological characteristics of Mozzarella cheeses. Calcium concentration was also one of the major predictor variables in regression models, which were developed to decide the rheological characteristics of Mozzarella cheese. Based on the above correlation the cheese industry can develop a strategy to obtain specific characteristics in Mozzarella cheese for varied applications in the food systems.