Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Why Low-Fat Cheese Turns Translucent

Date:
October 8, 1998
Source:
Cornell University
Summary:
A Cornell University food science student has answered an age-old question that has puzzled collegians through the years: Dude, why is the cheese on this cold pizza translucent?

ITHACA, N.Y. -- A Cornell University food science student has answered an age-old question that has puzzled collegians through the years: Dude, why is the cheese on this cold pizza translucent?

Related Articles


As those who save leftovers for next-day snacks know, low-fat mozzarella cheese turns almost clear after it has been baked on a pizza and then cooled. It gives leftover pizza an aged, unappetizing look. Lloyd E. Metzger, a Cornell doctoral candidate in food science, from Lester, Iowa, has discovered that it is the serum -- the water content in the mozzarella cheese -- that causes the translucency.

Pizza connoisseurs know that mozzarella should be white. Low-moisture, part-skim mozzarella has a fat content high enough to maintain a white color before baking, during baking and after the pizza cools down. But the lower fat mozzarella cheese has a white color when baked but doesn't retain the opaque whiteness during cooling.

"What's causing the mozzarella to become translucent? Well, by understanding how it works, we can control it," says Metzger. "In this study we wanted to find out what was happening to the structure of the cheese during heating and cooling."

Once made exclusively from the milk of water buffalo, mozzarella is composed of water, protein and fat. Mozzarella in the United States is made from cow's milk and then processed through a stretcher, in which a water solution is added. The fat and water are bound together in mozzarella by a protein called casein. Other proteins form the watery serum that is dissolved within the cheese.

When pizza is topped with mozzarella and popped into an oven, the water-soluble proteins interact with each other during the heating process. The serum in the cheese forms a white gel during heating that causes the cheese to become white. As it cools, the gel reverts back to a clear liquid, and the cheese then becomes translucent. As a result, the serum -- the protein dissolved in the cheese's water -- is responsible for the whiteness changes during heating and cooling of low-fat Mozzarella.

"When we make a fat-free cheese, we're trying to get the cheese to behave like a fattier cheese from a sensory point of view," says David M. Barbano, Cornell professor of food science. "We know there's something in the low-fat cheese that makes the white color reversible during heating and cooling. Once we completely understand cheese's properties, we can apply that information to control whiteness of other low-fat dairy foods."

Metzger won the American Dairy Science Association competition for graduate students this summer in Denver for his presentation on "Whiteness Change During Heating and Cooling of Mozzarella Cheese." He performed this research with Barbano; Michael A. Rudan, Cornell postdoctoral fellow in food science; and Ming R. Guo of the University of Vermont. It was funded by the Northeast Dairy Food Research Center and Dairy Management Inc.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Cornell University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Cornell University. "Why Low-Fat Cheese Turns Translucent." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 8 October 1998. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1998/10/981008050710.htm>.
Cornell University. (1998, October 8). Why Low-Fat Cheese Turns Translucent. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1998/10/981008050710.htm
Cornell University. "Why Low-Fat Cheese Turns Translucent." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1998/10/981008050710.htm (accessed December 22, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Plants & Animals News

Monday, December 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Earthworms Provide Cancer-Fighting Bacteria

Earthworms Provide Cancer-Fighting Bacteria

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Dec. 21, 2014) Polish scientists isolate bacteria from earthworm intestines which they say may be used in antibiotics and cancer treatments. Suzannah Butcher reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Existing Chemical Compounds Could Revive Failing Antibiotics, Says Danish Scientist

Existing Chemical Compounds Could Revive Failing Antibiotics, Says Danish Scientist

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Dec. 21, 2014) A team of scientists led by Danish chemist Jorn Christensen says they have isolated two chemical compounds within an existing antipsychotic medication that could be used to help a range of failing antibiotics work against killer bacterial infections, such as Tuberculosis. Jim Drury went to meet him. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Researchers Test Colombian Village With High Alzheimer's Rates

Researchers Test Colombian Village With High Alzheimer's Rates

AFP (Dec. 19, 2014) In Yarumal, a village in N. Colombia, Alzheimer's has ravaged a disproportionately large number of families. A genetic "curse" that may pave the way for research on how to treat the disease that claims a new victim every four seconds. Duration: 02:42 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Monarch Butterflies Descend Upon Mexican Forest During Annual Migration

Monarch Butterflies Descend Upon Mexican Forest During Annual Migration

Reuters - Light News Video Online (Dec. 19, 2014) Millions of monarch butterflies begin to descend onto Mexico as part of their annual migration south. Rough Cut (no reporter narration) Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins