Physical Properties of Rennet-Induced Skim Milk Gels

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis (compilation)


The aim of this work was to predict the effect of technological parameters on the physical processes of cheesemaking. To this end we developed and modified techniques with which to measure the physical properties of the curd, such as its permeability and its rheological properties. The effects of different factors, such as pH, temperature, the concentration of casein, the geometry of the curd, applied compressive stress and of the deformation on the physical properties of the curd were studied. Further modifications and development of the method to measure the syneresis of curd grains by estimating the progressive dilution of added tracer were made. The grain size was the most important factor determining the shrinkage of the curd grain in the initial stage of syneresis, whereas the pH was the dominating factor in the later stage. A laser distance meter was used to follow continuously the course of one-dimensional syneresis of rennet-induced skim milk gels. The method made it to follow the initial stage of the syneresis within 10 s after the surface of the curd slab was moistened and the initial syneresis rate was found to be dependent on the thickness of curd slabs in the range of 3-35 mm. Further development of the method for measuring the fusion of curd grains, using two plan-parallel surfaces of known area, that were exposed to fusion, and a means of controlling directly the fusion pressure, was undertaken. In this way the total deformation occurring during fusion could be followed, which had not been possible using earlier methods. A novel finding was that there was an optimum amount of syneresis prior to fusion, which led to the fastest fusion. Total fusion could be achieved in a fusion time of 20-25 min. We followed the compression behavior with different sample sizes over wide ranges of compression velocities. A key experimental finding was that the force increased almost linearly with the deformation at constant deformation rate, a finding which implied that curd permeability did not control the curd compression behavior. We have for the first time developed a method to determine, at least approximately, the fracture properties of cheese curd with no syneresis. The experiments showed that the time course of the behavior in tension did not replicate the behavior in shear or compression.


  • Kristina Lodaite
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Food Engineering


  • Food and drink technology, Livsmedelsteknik
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
Supervisors/Assistant supervisor
  • [unknown], [unknown], Supervisor, External person
Award date2002 Nov 22
  • Department of Food Technology, Lund University
Publication statusPublished - 2002
Publication categoryResearch

Bibliographic note

Defence details Date: 2002-11-22 Time: 13:15 Place: Center for Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, room B External reviewer(s) Name: Lucey, John A. Title: Assistant Professor Affiliation: Department of Food Science, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, USA --- Article: I.One-dimensional syneresis of rennet-induced gelsKristina Lodaite, Karin Östergren, Marie Paulsson and Petr DejmekInternational Dairy Journal 10, 2000, 829-834 Article: II.Syneresis of submerged single curd grains and curd rheologyAndrea Unger Grundelius, Kristina Lodaite, Karin Östergren,Marie Paulsson and Petr DejmekInternational Dairy Journal 10, 2000, 489-496 Article: III.Fusion of skim milk cheese curd grains: Development of a method to measure the fracture stress of the bonds between fused curd grainsKristina Lodaite, Karin Östergren, Olga Santos, Eve-Line Archambault,Marie Paulsson and Petr DejmekInternational Dairy Journal 12, 2002, 455-461IV.Fusion of skim milk cheese curd grains: Effects of pH, temperature and protein concentrationKristina Lodaite, Eve-Line Archambault, Karin Östergren,Marie Paulsson and Petr DejmekSubmitted for publication Article: V.Modelling the rheological behavior of rennet-induced skim milk gels at largedeformationsKristina Lodaite, Marie Paulsson and Petr DejmekManuscript