Reduced-fat cheese may suffer from flavour and texture problems. The improvement of such aspects using low-pressure homogenisation in a pre-processing routine in cheesemaking was investigated. Reduced- and full-fat Finnish Emmental cheeses were produced with milk homogenised at 10 MPa or without homogenisation (control), incubated and pasteurised. Homogenised milk cheeses were higher in taste intensity, buttery and nutty odours, smoothness and consistency of colour. Projective mapping by a consumer panel investigated potential market positioning of cheeses relative to commercial brands. Positioning of the full-fat homogenised milk cheese with longer-ripened commercial cheeses resulted in descriptions of 'tasty', 'melt in the mouth' and 'full' while the reduced-fat homogenised milk cheese was positioned separately from a similar commercial counterpart and described as 'nutty'. Changes due to homogenisation of milk in cheesemaking improved sensory aspects and market position of the reduced-fat cheeses in question. Industrial relevance: The use of low pressure homogenisation in cheesemaking leads to improvements in sensory and chemical properties of reduced-fat cheese, as well as improved market positioning of homogenised milk cheese relative to non-homogenised counterparts. This process could be used on an industrial scale for better consumer acceptability of reduced-fat cheese.
- Projective mapping