Abstract #141

# 141
Benefits of enzyme-modified cheese production.
K. M. MacRae*1, D. R. Olver1, 1Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA.

In recent years consumers have shown increased interest in low-fat cheeses and have fueled demand for a wider variety of cheese-flavored products. According to the US Dairy Export Council (USDEC), the best method for producing economical and consistent cheese flavors is through enzyme-modified cheese production. Through this technology, enzymes turn milk into curds and whey to create different textures and tastes of cheeses. Common cheeses modified with enzymes include Cheddar, Mozzarella, Romano, Parmesan, Bleu, Gouda, and others. Lipases are used to break down milk fats and give characteristic flavors to cheeses, while proteases are used to produce hydrolyzed whey protein. Together the use of lipolytic and proteolytic enzymes allow for the formation of a strong flavored cheese product in 1–2 d compared with traditional aging methods that often take years. For example, Wilkinson and Kilcawley (1998) stated that the flavor intensity of enzyme-modified cheese was 5–30 times that of natural cheese. Using young enzyme-modified cheese is less expensive than using mature cheese and provides the same aged cheese flavor. Reduced-fat or low-fat products can also be made with this technology without reducing flavor. Additionally, enzyme-modified cheese products can be dried to extend shelf life and allow for easier transport. According to USDEC, the low moisture of these dried products such as dehydrated cheese and cheese powders allows for easy application to snacks and cereal-based products. Overall, the use of enzyme-modified cheeses allows for a cheaper and faster alternative to traditional methods while providing additional cheese varieties through taste and texture differences.

Key Words: enzyme-modified cheese