30 35 40

Water content (%)

Figure 20. Relation between quasi-modulus and moisture content in a single cheese variety.

changes which take place in the casein network. An illustration of this is found in Meshanger cheese (56). This cheese has the usual well-organized casein structure when freshly made. As the ripening proceeds, the structure breaks down until it becomes a more or less amorphous loose mass of casein submicelles. Figure 21 shows the relation found between an arbitrary measurement of the firmness and the water content of cheeses from some ten batches during ripening. In the same series of experiments the rate of degradation of the casein was determined for some of the batches over the first few weeks of life. The rate of degradation, calculated as a first-order reaction, showed good agreement with the water content (Fig. 22).

Although protein, fat, and water constitute by far the greatest part of any cheese mass, other constituents cannot be ignored. Salt, when added dry before the cheese is

Figure 21. Relation between firmness and moisture content.

Figure 21. Relation between firmness and moisture content.

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