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2 3 4 5 6 Logarithm of age in days

Figure 24. Relation between age and strain at yield point for Cheddar cheese.

the Gouda cheese the behavior was rather different. Although the yield strain decreased, the stress at this point, ie, the ultimate strength of the matrix, had increased. It is only to be expected that as the actual balance between the different mechanisms of aging of the components varies from one cheese to another, so the paths of change in the whole cheese will vary. Figure 25 shows some of the results that have been reported (47,78,79).

Not only does the firmness of cheese change with age, but also its springiness. The degradation of the protein, the solidification of the fat, and the reduction of the water available to lubricate the relative motion all tend to reduce the springiness. Springiness is not a simple rheological concept. It implies not only the ability to recover from compression or indentation but also that this will be immedi-

Figure 23. Force-compression curves for young and mature cheeses:--, Cheddar (mature); —, Cheddar (young);—, Gouda

Age (weeks)

Figure 25. Variation of firmness with age: Cheddar; O, Kach-kaval; □, Tamismi and Russian; and unspecified French cheese.

Age (weeks)

Figure 25. Variation of firmness with age: Cheddar; O, Kach-kaval; □, Tamismi and Russian; and unspecified French cheese.

ately evident. It does not show itself directly in a forcecompression curve; a recovery curve is more appropriate for this purpose. Nevertheless, this decrease of springiness has been remarked upon consistently using subjective observations on a number of cheeses (27,29,47,49,80).

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