Defects

  • rubbery, flaky due to lack of lubricity and tight protein matrix
  • gummy, chewy
  • bitterness in cheese is caused by hydrophobic (fat soluble) peptides (protein fragments) which result from curing--the amount, or at least the perceived amounts of these peptides, is increased in low-fat cheese, perhaps because these hydrophobic peptides are normally absorbed by the fat and are more available for tasting in low fat cheese
  • certain cultures have the ability to further break down these peptides and reduce bitterness so that bitterness in low-fat cheese often peaks after a few weeks and then decreases with further ripening
  • astringency is common in low fat cheese--it is distinct from bitterness but often confused with bitterness--it is not detected by the taste buds but rather a textural/physical perception at the back of the mouth ---related to interaction of saliva with cheese components, probably certain peptides
  • meaty/brothy flavour is typical of low fat cheese--this is also related to interaction of amino acids (from protein breakdown) with alpha-dicarbonyls
  • unclean flavours related to non-starter bacteria are more pronounced in low fat cheese--this can be reduced by micro-filtration to remove most bacteria before cheese manufacture
  • increased gas formation probably due to non-starter bacteria encouraged by low S/M causes slits---again could be controlled by micro-filtration