Low-Fat Cheeses

Obesity, nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, heart disease, and certain cancers are estimated to become epidemic in the next 20 years in industrialized countries. They are associated with various predisposing factors, including genetic background and unhealthy diet (Patterson et al., 2013). All worldwide dietary guidelines recommend the reduction of the intake of dietary fat also in Mediterranean diet (Bach-Faig et al., 2012). Consequently, low-fat milk products, such as low-fat cheeses, have to be regarded as functional products (Ashraf Gaber Mohamed, 2015).

Recently, it was shown that the consumption of low-fat dairy products was associated with: (i) the reduction of the risk to develop metabolic syndrome (Babio et al., 2015) and type 2 diabetes, especially in high-BMI and obese women (Visioli and Strata, 2014); (ii) the decrease of blood pressure (Moore et al., 2005); (iii) lower risk of stroke, colon cancer and osteoporosis (Mccabe et al., 2004; Rozenberg et al., 2015); and (iv) decrease of body weight (Zemel, 2004). In addition, low-fat milk or cheeses are an optimal mineral source to minimize bone loss during weight loss in elderly and people who have had weight reduction surgery (Hogan, 2005). There is scientific evidence that low-fat cheeses enriched with a plant sterol mixture reduced serum LDL- cholesterol of ca. 10% (Korpela et al., 2006). Despite the large market potential, the diffusion of low-fat cheeses is lower than expected, probably due to poor consumer perception based on inadequate texture and taste attributes. As required by the CODEX Commission on International Trade, low-fat cheese must have 50% or less of the fat level compared to the referenced variety. Fat contributes to the sensory and structural characteristics of the cheese. Ripened low-fat cheeses showed several organoleptic negative aspects (dry, excessively firm, rubbery, difficult to chew, and

Table 2.2.1.2 Low-Fat Cheeses Produced Using Different Technologies (adapted from Karimi et al., 2015).

Cheese type

Fat replacers

Remarks

Storage

Reference

Caciotta

cheese

Microparticulated whey protein concentrate (mWPC) (0.5 %), exopolysaccharides- producing Streptococcus thermophilus (7 log ufc/g), adjunct cultures (6 log ufc/g)

MWPC markedly contributed to the increase in moisture content and, in turn, to the yield of low-fat cheese. Microbial EPS seemed to be helpful, especially in enhancing texture characteristics. The use of adjunct cultures resulted in high levels of diacetyl, acetic acid, and other volatile components, which markedly enhanced the overall acceptability of the low-fat Caciotta-type cheese.

10°C, 28 d

Di Cagno et al., 2014

Wheyless

cream

cheese

Inulin; 8, 10 and 12%

Desirable textural attributes using 10% inulin.

4°C

Fadaei et al. (2012)

Imitation

cheese

Inulin; 5, 13. 75%

Higher hardness values of inulin cheeses than the control sample with fat.

4°C

Hennelly et al. (2006)

Fresh

kashar

cheese

Inulin; 5%

Lower hardness of low-fat cheese with 5% inulin compared to low-fat control cheese, but slightly higher than that of full-fat control cheese.

  • 90 d
  • 4°-6°C

Koca and

Metin

(2004)

Ultra- filtered (UF) cheese

Inulin; 1, 1.5, 2 and 3%

Improved cheese texture, uniform microstructure and acceptable sensory properties.

5°C 56 d

Miocinovic et al. (2011)

Fresh

cheese

Inulin; 3%

Less hard, springy, cohesive and chewy of inulin cheese than reduced-fat cheeses, and more similar to cheeses made from whole milk.

4°C 11 d

Juan et al. (2013)

Processed

cheese

Inulin; 6, 7 and 8%

Low-fat processed cheese spreads with 7% and 8% inulin achieved the yield stress values and spreadability similar to the full-fat processed cheese spread.

4°C

Dave (2012)

Mozzarella

cheese,

cheddar

cheese

Inulin; 5%

Incorporation of inulin led to improved texture of low-fat cheese by decreasing the hardness and gummines, while maintaining the cohesiveness, adhesiveness, and springiness.

  • 4°C
  • 90 d and 210 d

Wadhwani

(2011)

UF cheese

Inulin; 3%

Different amounts of inulin did not have a significant influence on the composition and pH values of the low-fat UF cheese.

5 °C 56 d

Miocinovic et al. (2011)

( Continued)

Table 2.2.1.2 (Continued)

Cheese type

Fat replacers

Remarks

Storage

Reference

Fresh

cheese

Inulin; 2, 5 and 7%

Samples containing inulin were characterized by lower values of compressive force, stiffness, viscosity, and adhesiveness.

4°C 20 d

Salvatore et al. (2014)

Karish

cheese

Inulin; 2 and 4%

The addition of 4% of inulin gave the highest texture and acceptability score. Hardness decreased from 495 (g) in control to 216 and 143 in Karish cheese made with 2% and 4% inulin.

4°C 14 d

Alnemr et al. (2013)

with atypical flavor such as off-flavors and bitterness) (Costa et al., 2011). To limit these defects, several technological innovations have been applied to reduce the level of fat in dairy products (Di Cagno et al., 2014; Ryan et al., 2015; Felfoul et al., 2015; Oberg et al., 2015; Aljewicz et al., 2015). Table 2.2.1.2 summarizes several types of low- fat cheeses produced using different technologies.

 
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