Investigation of opening eye defects and effects of different ripening profiles on eye structure in semi-hard cheese using X-ray micro-computed tomography

Jaqueline Auer, Michael Reiter, Sascha Senck, Andreas Reiter, Johann Kastner, Katrin Mathmann

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

In Swiss-type cheese the presence of eyes is an important sign of quality. During the ripening process defects in the eye structure can occur. Therefore, monitoring the ripening process is essential. In this contribution, X-ray micro-computed tomography (CT) was used to investigate open eye defects and the effects of different maturing temperatures on the eye structure in cheese. By varying the ripening conditions, deviations in the eye structure were generated and characterized using a dedicated image post-processing pipeline. Four cheese samples were scanned at a voxel size of (155 μm)3 during defined time periods. By determining the total eye volume, the number of eyes, and the size distribution of the eyes, further information about the course of the ripening process was obtained. The investigation showed that the duration of pre-maturing and the maturing temperature have influence on the eye formation in semi-hard cheeses. There was a linear increase in total volume during the pre-maturing, but the speed at which the eyes grow seemed to be influenced by other factors e.g. spatial distribution of eyes in the cheese. Furthermore, eyes with a volume <34 mm³ are not all growing during the ripening process. This suggests that not all eyes have the same growth potential. Three-dimensional data provides additional insights for a better understanding of the formation of eye structure. In addition, CT facilitates the early detection of open eye defects by delivering structural information that can be used to predict the final spatial distribution of eyes in semi-hard cheese.

Original languageEnglish
Article number100190
JournalFood Structure
Volume28
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2021

Keywords

  • 3D characterization
  • Cheese ripening
  • Eye formation
  • Eye structure
  • Open eye defects
  • X-ray micro-computed tomography

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