Partitioning of Omega-3 Fatty Acids between Cheddar Cheese Curd and Whey 

Principal Investigators:  Carl Brothersen, Utah State University

Co-Investigators: Donald J. McMahon, Utah State University

Brian Pettee, Utah State University

Project Summary:

Full-fat Cheddar cheese was made with milk fortified with omega-3 fatty acids and the partitioning of omega-3 fatty acids into the curd and whey was determined. Omega-3 fatty acids from both animal and plant sources in both encapsulated and free oil were used. The omega-3 fatty acid preparations were incorporated into the milk by the following methods: 1) mixing the encapsulated powder in the milk, 2) mixing oil in the milk, 3) mixing oil in cream, 4) homogenizing oil in milk, and 5) homogenizing oil in the cream. With the homogenization treatments, the homogenized milk and cream constituted ten percent of the fat in the cheese milk. Also, encapsulated omega-3 fatty acid preparations, from animal and plant sources, were added to stirred and milled curd during dry salting, and the omega-3 content of the pressed curd was determined. The recovery of omega-3 fatty acids from the animal source, averaged over all treatments was 90.5 %, and was significantly higher (p = 0.05) than that of the plant source at 80.3%. The average recoveries of omega-3 fatty acids from the homogenization treatments were 90.3% and 92.8% for treatments 4 and 5 respectively, and were not significantly (p = 0.05) different. There was a significant difference in the average recovery of omega-3 fatty acids in curd from the homogenized treatments compared to that of the non-homogenized treatments, which were 80.2%, 79.0% and 82.8% for treatments 1-3 respectively. The recovery in the curd form the non-homogenized treatments were not significantly different from each other.

When the encapsulated form of omega-3 fatty acids were added to the cheese curd during salting, the average recovery for the animal and plant sources, were significantly (p=0.05) different at 99.4% and 91.1% respectively. The average recovery of omega-3 fatty acids in the milled curd was 94.4%, and was not significantly different from that of the milled curd at 96.1%.

Therefore, the most efficient method of fortifying Cheddar cheese with omega-3 fatty acids, is adding the encapsulated powder to the curd during salting.



Published Abstract:None


Brothersen, C. 2009. Partitioning of Omega-3 Fatty Acids between Cheddar Cheese Curd and Whey. Western Dairy Center Annual Meeting. May 6, Utah State University, Logan.