Investigating the Filled Gel Model for the Role of Fat in Cheese

Principal Investigators: Donald J. McMahon, Utah State University

Project Summary:

Cheese can be described as a protein network surrounded by an aqueous phase with milk fat
globules inter-dispersed in the protein network. Based on this description, cheese can be
modeled as a filled gel in which fat globules may act as an active of inactive filler based on its
phase volume. This model will be tested by manufacturing cheese with fat levels from 32 to
4% fat, in 4% steps to determine the fat level at which the fat globules cease to perform as an
active filler (Phase 1). Changes in rheological and sensory texture properties of the cheese will
be determined as a function of filler volume fraction and storage time. The cheese will be
tested using both rheological methods and sensory texture evaluation. The validity of such a
model for understanding the texture in cheese will be verified by substituting fat with Sephadex
beads (Phase 2).





Published Abstract:



McMahon, D.J. 2009. Investigating the Filled Gel Model for the Role of Fat in Cheese. Western Dairy Center Annual Meeting. May 6, Utah State University, Logan.