Conclusion

Although the study of cheese rheology is as old as rheology itself, only a few cheese varieties have been investigated. These have been drawn almost exclusively from among the

Modulus (kN/m2)

Figure 26. Comparison of subjective and objective measurements of firmness.

Modulus (kN/m2)

Figure 26. Comparison of subjective and objective measurements of firmness.

firmer varieties. The softer cheeses, of which there are many, have received scant attention. They pose rather different rheological problems because they are less like solids and more akin to stiff pastes or creams; they should, however, be nonetheless interesting to rheologists.

It has been shown, by bringing together diverse observations on the firmer cheeses from a number of workers, that it is possible to build up plausible theories to relate the behavior of the finished cheese to the structure developed during its manufacture. Mathematical models may be posited for the rheological behavior, but with a material as heterogeneous as cheese, these, if they are to be simple enough to be easily handled, are unlikely to give more than an approximate representation of the observed pattern. Using these, or directly from experimental measurements, material constants may be extracted to characterize the cheese. A knowledge of these may be helpful to the cheese-maker, both as a means of controlling the production regime and as a guide to the acceptability of the product.

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