How may the viscosity of Cream cheese be controlled

Cream cheese is a soft, unripened cheese made from cream or mixtures of cream, milk or skim milk standardised to -11% fat and 8% non-fat milk solids. Cream cheese made from mix with less than 11% fat tends to be dry, crumbly, mealy and grainy. Increasing moisture content improves the dry crumbly conditions, but too much moisture leads to wheying off. Efficient single stage homogenisation (-140 MPa) of the mix helps improve the smoothness of Cream cheese and drainage of whey. Single stage homogenisation is preferable because of cluster formation of fat globules, which increases viscosity. pH at breaking the curd also affects viscosity and texture properties of the cheese. Cream cheese is crumbly, grainy, mealy and dry when the coagulum is broken (stirred) at pH > 4.9. Best results are obtained when the coagulum is broken at pH 4.6-4.7. Low pH leads to curd that is smooth but soft, sticky and undesirable. The temperature of heating curd is 46-54 °C. High cooking temperature gives the same effects as high pH at breaking. Similarly, a decrease in cooking temperature gives similar characteristics as breaking coagulum at low pH.

The protein content of the mix contributes to the viscosity of Cream cheese. High protein content increases viscosity of Cream cheese. High shearing rate and time during processing tends to reduce viscosity. In hot pack Cream cheese, locust bean gum is used at the rate of 0.35% to prevent syneresis.

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