Dairy-free imitation cheese: is further development required?
Nicolás Saraco, Maximiliano
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Purpose The aim of this study was to compare the organoleptic attributes and meltability of selected, commercial dairy-free imitation cheeses (DFICs) with those of their dairy counterparts to thus determine whether commercial DFIC needs to be further developed. Design/methodology/approach: Market research was conducted to determine the availability of DFICs in the United Kingdom (UK) and thus select the varieties to assess. Mild cheddar was chosen for its popularity wide availability in the United Kingdom and Italian-style hard cheese for its complex organoleptic profile. The organoleptic attributes and melting properties of the chosen DFIC products were assessed by using descriptive sensory evaluation and their meltability was assessed using the Arnott test, respectively. Findings: 109 different DFICs were found; most of them (74%) presented coconut oil as their primary ingredient. None of the assessed DFICs assessed could mimic the organoleptic attributes of their dairy counterparts accurately; however, one of the non-dairy mild cheddar samples was regarded as potentially acceptable by the assessors of the sensory evaluation assessors. Nonetheless, the meltability of this sample was significantly lower than that of mild cheddar cheese. Practical implications: The findings indicate that, to obtain products that can mimic the organoleptic attributes and meltability of cheese more accurately, further development is required for the DFIC varieties assessed. Originality/value: No academic publications have explored and investigated commercial DFICs with similar ingredients to those found in commercial DFICs; the commercial importance of these products may augment in the short term owing to the reported growth in the number of vegan individuals in the UK and in Europe.
British Food Journal;
Saraco, M.N. and Blaxland, J. (2020) 'Dairy-free imitation cheese: is further development required?', British Food Journal.
Article published in British Food Journal on 01 July 2020, available at: https://doi.org/10.1108/BFJ-11-2019-0825.
Cardiff Metropolitan University (Grant ID: Cardiff Metropolian (Internal))
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