Inline Determination of the Gel Elastic Modulus During Milk Coagulation Using a Multifiber Optical Probe

Zulma Villaquiran, Anna Zamora, Oscar Arango, Manuel Castillo*

*Autor corresponent d’aquest treball

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From a state-of-the-art point of view, it is currently possible to optically monitor the enzymatic coagulation of milk for real time estimation of the elastic modulus to cut the gel at optimum gel firmness. However, European cheese industry produces a wide variety of cheeses, many of them artisanal, and has a very fragmented productive structure with many small-, medium-sized companies. Therefore, if the technology is to be successfully uptake, it must be not only accurate but very low-cost. The objective of this work was to evaluate a low-cost commercial multifiber probe, for inline optical determination of curd firmness during cheese making. Preliminary tests were carried out to select the most appropriate fiber core size and wavelength and after that coagulation trials were performed following a fully randomized factorial design with two factors, i.e., concentration of protein (3.2, 3.6 and 4.0%) and added calcium (150, 200 and 250 mg L−1), with three replicates. The observed linear increase of the least square means of the initial voltage with the protein content (V0 = 0.15[P, %] + 0.88; R2 = 0.999), will be likely synergistic with the elastic modulus prediction if the model needs to be corrected for protein. Finally, the multifiber probe allowed predicting curd firmness using the proposed model with SEP values < 7 Pa. The present work has proven that a low-cost multifiber probe is suitable for accurate, real-time prediction of curd firmness during cheese manufacture.

Idioma originalEnglish
Nombre de pàgines13
RevistaFood and Bioprocess Technology
Data online anticipadade gen. 2024
Estat de la publicacióPublicada - 15 de gen. 2024


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