DSM Food Specialties has launched a new culture designed to improve texture, mouth feel and increased moisture content in a range of cheeses.
The company said that its DELVO-ADD 100-F culture could therefore be of interest to cheese manufacturers wishing to add consumer appeal and texture advantages to end products.
The culture has been developed to modify the structure of cheddar style cheese curds at a very early stage in the ripening process, usually within 10 to 14 days. This, said the company, provides a smooth, creamy curd much earlier than usual, imparting a creamy texture and higher moisture content, even in reduced fat cheeses.
In soft and semi-hard cheeses, DSM said that the use of DELVO-ADD 100-F maximises water content and improves yield, while softening the cheese body and enhancing mouth feel.
Companies such as DSM are increasingly focusing on value-added dairy products such as cultures. This market shift, largely anticipated by much of Europe's dairy industry, is part of a general switch away from commodities.
As a result, cultures have enjoyed strong organic growth thanks to growing demand from fresh dairy for innovative products, and it is this growth that DSM hopes to exploit.
DELVO-ADD 100-F produces Exopolysaccharide (EPS) in dairy products, a common feature of lactic acid bacteria. The benefits of this property in yoghurt applications, which include improving rheological and organoleptic properties, have been recognised for years.
However, specially selected EPS producing strains are now increasingly being used in cheese production. For instance, by altering the properties of cheese, EPS can act as a fat replacer, keeping protein filaments apart.
This helps to avoid whey separation and the compact rubbery texture often associated with low fat cheeses.
"The complexity of a cheese's structure has previously made the benefits of EPS production in this application difficult to study," said Arthur Simonetti, DSM dairy ingredients.
"These trials demonstrate the advantages of using DELVO-ADD 100-F in cheese and further highlights our expertise in this field. This enables us to provide better technical support to manufacturers in the cheese industry."
DELVO-ADD 100-F is a specially selected EPS producing strain of Streptococcus thermophilus, which can be used in fermented milks, cream and fresh cheese applications. Certified as Kosher, this culture is GMO-free in accordance with European directives.