Short communication: Influence of pulsed light treatment on the quality and sensory characteristics of Cheddar cheese
ABSTRACT The objective of this study was to examine the effect of pulsed light (PL) treatment on the color, oxidative stability, and onset of molding of Cheddar cheese. Slices of sharp white Cheddar cheese of 2.5 × 5 cm were treated on one side with PL doses from 1.02 to 12.29 J/cm 2 , sealed in polyethylene bags, and stored at 6°C for up to 1 mo. Peroxide value, color parameters, and the onset of molding were evaluated. No significant changes in color or peroxide value were observed for PL-treated samples compared with the untreated controls. Pulsed light was able to significantly delay surface molding during refrigerated storage, with a PL dose of 9.22 J/cm 2 delaying the onset of molding by 7 d. The effect of PL on the taste, appearance, and acceptability of Cheddar cheese slices treated with a PL dose of 9.22 J/cm 2 on each side was assessed. In triangle tests, 60 untrained panelists were unable to detect significant differences between the control and PL-treated samples, although PL had a significant effect on overall liking, flavor, and appearance. These findings suggest that although PL can be effective for surface decontamination of cheese, it may have some detrimental effects on sensory properties.
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