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African Journal of Biotechnology

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Effects of high-pressure processing (HPP) on the microbiological, physico-chemical and sensory properties of fresh cheeses: A review

COR Okpala, JR Piggott, CJ Schaschke

Abstract


High pressure processing (HPP) is an increasingly popular food processing method that offers great potential within the food industry. The drive to use HPP is to provide minimally processed foods which are safe and have extended shelf-life that rival traditional methods of food processing. HPP is currently being applied to a wide variety of food products, although to date the dairy industry has received little attention. The present paper reviews the effects of HPP on fresh rennet- and acid-coagulated cheeses.
In additional to modifying physicochemical and sensory characteristics, HPP is reported to inactivate certain micro-organisms typically found in cheeses. Pathogenic microorganisms such as Listeria monocytogenes and Escherichia coli which contaminate, spoil and limit the shelf-life of cheese can be controlled by HPP. HPP can also cause changes in milk rennet coagulation properties, produce a more continuous or homogeneous protein matrix in cheese, improve cheese structure, texture and yield, as
well as reduce moisture content variations within fresh cheese blocks. Providing HPP can be operated economically, the use of pressure may be an attractive new method for the processing of cheese.



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