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ABSTRACT

The present study considers the influence of reducing the fat content of ovine milk on the sensory and instrumental texture characteristics of the resulting cheeses. Three manufacturing runs were performed. In each run three cheese batches were manufactured using milks with differing percentage fat contents (8%, 4%, and 2% fat). Analysis of cheese samples was performed at 60, 90, and 120 days of ripening.

The instrumental method used to evaluate cheese texture was uniaxial compression at constant speed, taking readings of stress, strain, and modulus of elasticity (E). Statisticalanalysis revealed differences forboth the differentfat contents and the ripening times considered. Instrumental parameter values increased with lower cheese fat contents; with a 20% reduction in the fat to dry matter content from full-fat to reduced-fat cheeses, resulting in a 35% increase in maximum stress and in the slope of the stress-strain curve at the end of ripening. The greatest sensory differences between samples were recorded for firmness.