Numerous formulation and processing parameters influence the functional properties of process cheese. Recently, a small-scale (25 g) manufacturing and analysis method was developed using a rapid visco analyzer (RVA), which was designed to evaluate the functional properties of process cheese when subjected to various formulations and processing conditions. Although this method successfully manufactured process cheese, there was a significant difference in the functional properties of the process cheese compared with process cheese manufactured on a pilot scale. In the present study, adjustments in the RVA methodology involving the RVA processing conditions, preblend preparation, and texture profile analysis (TPA) techniques for the final process cheese were investigated. Fourteen samples of pasteurized processed cheese food (PCF) were manufactured from 14 different preblends. Each preblend was prepared using 1 of the 14 different natural cheeses and was balanced for moisture, fat, and salt. Each of these 14 preblends was split into 3 portions and each portion was subjected to 3 different manufacturing treatments. The first treatment was manufactured in a pilot-scale Blentech twin screw (BTS) cooker, and the remaining 2 treatments were manufactured in an RVA with different processing profiles. The RVA treatments were produced in triplicate. The resulting process cheeses were analyzed for moisture and functional properties. Texture profile analysis and RVA melt analyses were performed on all PCF treatments. Additionally, for the RVA treatments, the data for time of emulsification and end apparent viscosity during RVA manufacture were collected and recorded. The functional properties of the PCF manufactured using the RVA treatments showed good correlation with the functional properties of the PCF produced on the pilot scale. Additionally, the end apparent viscosity during RVA manufacture was correlated with the functional properties of the process cheese. Consequently, the RVA can be used as a small-scale manufacturing and analysis tool for predicting the functional properties of process cheese, and for evaluating how various formulations and processing parameters affect these functional properties. Moreover, the adjustments in the RVA methodology produced process cheese with functionality similar to process cheese produced in the BTS.
- Process cheese
- Rapid visco analyzer