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Milk Fat Substitution by Microparticulated Protein in Reduced-fat Cheese Emulsion: The Effects on Stability, Microstructure, Rheological and Sensory Properties
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Fat reduction in the formulation of cheese emulsion causes problems in its flowability and functional characteristics during spray-dried cheese powder production. In order to eliminate these problems, the potential of using microparticulated whey protein (MWP) in cheese emulsions was examined in this study. Reduced-fat whitebrined cheese emulsions (RF) with different dry-matters (DM) (15%, 20%, and 25% excluding emulsifying salt) were produced using various MWP concentrations (0%-20% based on cheese DM of emulsion). Their key characteristics were compared to full-fat cheese emulsion (FF). MWP addition had no influence on prevention of the phase separation observed in the instable group (RF 15). The most notable effect of using MWP was a reduction in apparent viscosity of RF which significantly increased by fat reduction. Moreover, increasing the amount of MWP led to a decrease in the values of consistency index and an increase in the values of flow behavior index. On the other hand, using high amounts of MWP made the emulsion more liquid-like compared to full-fat counterpart. MWP utilization also resulted in similar lightness and yellowness parameters in RF as their full-fat counterparts. MWP in RF increased glossiness and flowability scores, while decreased mouth coating scores in sensory analyses. Fat reduction caused a more compact network, while a porous structure similar to FF was observed with MWP addition to RF. In conclusion, MWP showed a good potential for formulation of reducedfat cheese emulsions with rheological and sensorial characteristics suitable to be used as the feeding liquid in the spray drying process.