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Review
. Apr-Jun 2018;17(2):107-116.
doi: 10.17306/J.AFS.0550.

Carrageenan as a Functional Additive in the Production of Cheese and Cheese-Like Products

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Review

Carrageenan as a Functional Additive in the Production of Cheese and Cheese-Like Products

Błażej B Błaszak et al. Acta Sci Pol Technol Aliment. .

Abstract

Carrageenan is a well-known gelling agent used in the food industry. The present review of patent and scien- tific literature shows that carrageenan is a useful additive in the cheese production process. The gel-strength- ening properties of carrageenan are as a result of the fairly strong bonds it forms with casein macromolecules. However, carrageenan-casein interaction is dependent on pH. Different carrageenan types have different charge levels (the most charged is the helix form of lambda-carrageenan), which affects the carrageenan- casein aggregates. The correct concentration of carrageenan and temperature treatment can improve cheese yield and whey protein recovery, which is desirable for cheese producers. Even small amounts of this hydro- colloid can increase cheese firmness and maintain cheese structure after cheese curd heating. Carrageenan improves cheese structure and other properties, such as ease of grating or slicing, which are very important for customers. Some modifications to cheese composition can destroy the natural cheese structure, but the addition of carrageenan can be useful for creating modified cheese-like products with desirable attributes. Carrageenan can be a good replacement for emulsifying salts, to stabilize cheese fat without disturbing the Ca:P ratio. The replacement of emulsifying salts with carrageenan (as little as 1%) results in a homogenous cheese product. For that reason, carrageenan is a useful additive for maintaining the organoleptic and struc- tural values of fat-free cheese. Carrageenan can also stabilize the structure in cheese-like products and replace casein in cheese imitations.

Keywords: carrageenan; cheese technology; functional properties; rheology; texture; whey protein.

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