Master of Science (MS)


School of Nutrition and Food Sciences

Document Type



Reducing added salt in processed foods is one of the major challenges facing food industry worldwide. Salt (NaCl) replacement in a Cheddar cheese has been successfully achieved up to 25%, which qualifies it as “reduced sodium”. However, a low sodium cheddar cheese (less than 140 mg Na/ 50 g cheese) requires at least 50% of salt reduction. Bitterness is one obstacle for development of an acceptable low sodium cheddar cheese. In this study, sensory optimization of low sodium white cheddar cheese was performed. A 3-component mixture design was used: NaCl (30-60%), KCl (45-65%) and glycine (5-10%). A fixed level of adenosine monophosphate (AMP, 500 ppm) was incorporated. A CLT consumer test was run with N = 360 consumers following a BIB design [t = 10, k = 3, r = 9, b = 30, λ = 2, E = 0.74]. One of these ten cheddar cheese formulations served as the control (100% NaCl). Consumers evaluated appearance, odor/aroma, taste, saltiness, chewiness, softness, overall texture, and overall liking using a 9-point hedonic scale after 5 months of ripening. Purchase intent was also evaluated. RSM was constructed from the predicted non-intercept regression model for each sensory attribute. Overlay of contour plots (≥5.5 as a cut-off hedonic score) yielded an optimal formulation range, indicating that up to 60% KCl could be incorporated. The optimal formulation (30% NaCl, 60% KCl and 10% glycine) had mean scores over 6.14 for all sensory attributes. The McNemar test revealed that purchase intent significantly increased in 5 of the 9 formulations after consumers had been informed the products were low-sodium. The substitution of NaCl by KCl and glycine generated differences in the type and amounts of volatile compounds produced. Salt substitution also affected fatty acids degradation. Other physicochemical properties affected by the salt replacement were texture, color and aw; however, these changes although significant, did not affect negatively the sensory acceptance of most the cheese formulations with a high amount of substitution. This study demonstrated that low-sodium (at least 50% salt reduction and less than 140 mg Na/g) cheddar cheeses could be successfully produced without compromising sensory characteristics.



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Committee Chair

Prinyawiwatkul, Witoon

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Life Sciences Commons