• Effect of Pseudomonas fluorescens proteases on the quality of Cheddar cheese

      Paludetti, Lizandra F.; O'Callaghan, Tom; Sheehan, Diarmuid (JJ); Gleeson, David E; Kelly, Alan L.; Dairy Research Ireland; Teagasc Walsh Fellowship; MKLS6643; 2015045 (Elsevier, 2020-06-26)
      The objective of this study was to investigate the effect of adding different levels of a thermoresistant protease produced by a Pseudomonas fluorescens strain to milk on the manufacture and quality of Cheddar cheese. Fresh raw milk was collected, standardized, and pasteurized at 72°C for 15 s, and the enzyme was added to give a protease activity of 0.15 or 0.60 U/L (treatments P1 and P4, respectively), while one sample had no enzyme added (control). Milk was stored at 4°C for 48 h and Cheddar cheese was manufactured after 0 and 48 h of storage. Results indicated that the protease was active in milk during 48 h of storage; however, its effect on milk composition was minimal. The protein that was preferentially hydrolyzed by the protease over storage was β-casein, followed by κ-casein. The mean cheese yield and recovery of fat and protein obtained for all cheeses were not affected by protease activity. The protease showed low activity during cheese manufacture, possibly because of unfavorable conditions, including low pH. One of the factors that might have influenced protease activity was the pH of the curd (approximately 6.55 after acidification and 5.35 at milling), which was lower than that at which the enzyme would have optimum activity (pH 7 to 9). Consequently, the composition, pH, patterns of proteolysis, and hardness of all cheeses produced were similar and in accordance with values expected for that type of cheese, independently of the protease activity level. However, slight increases in proteolysis were observed in P4 cheeses and produced using milk stored for 48 h. Both the P1 and P4 cheeses had higher concentrations of free amino acids (FAA) compared with the control, whereas urea-PAGE electrophoretograms indicated a greater breakdown of caseins in the P4 cheese samples, which may be related to possible increases in numbers of proteolytic bacteria in milk during storage. Therefore, the thermoresistant psychrotrophic bacterial protease(s) tested in this study may affect the manufacture or quality of Cheddar cheese during ripening to a relatively limited extent. However, controlling initial levels of proteolytic bacteria in raw milk remains essential, because proteolysis affects the development of flavor and texture in cheese.