pH of cheese
Inadequate interaction between reference electrolyte and a sample is a major hurdle while measuring the pH of cheese. This is due to the tough consistency of cheese that makes it difficult for a conventional sensor to pierce through a sample. Delicate sensing membranes with spherical shapes can be broken during the measurement process. Another factor, which contributes towards the limited interaction between reference electrolyte and a sample, is the low miscibility due to high fat content in cheese samples. This along with a few more factors cause unstable readings and longer response times.
METTLER TOLEDO's InLab Solids Pro-ISM is a specialized sensor for measuring the pH of cheese with good accuracy and precision. The sensor has a pointed tip made up of toughened glass that allows direct insertion into the solid cheese samples and is resistant to breakage. The low maintenance solid XEROLYT®EXTRA polymer reference system offers two benefits: it has a clog-free open junction which eliminates the risk of protein fouling; and the sensor interacts with the sample through diffusing ions, eliminating the difficulties associated with immiscibility of aqueous reference electrolyte with the sample. The specialized design and overall sensor technology of the InLab Solids Pro-ISM ensures direct sample measurement of solid cheese samples which is critical for ensuring reliability and consistency in the manufacturing and quality control of cheese.
For more such information on this sensor, its advantages and pH measurement in cheese, download the application note.
The following sections cover some more details about cheese manufacturing and the importance of pH measurement.
How to prevent the sensor from damaging while measuring the pH of Cheese?
Check this video to understand the advantages that our sensors offer
When is the pH of cheese measured during the cheese manufacturing process?
- Milk is fermented under controlled conditions by microbial cultures to produce lactic acid. This decreases the pH and helps in the development of flavor.
- After the curdling process, the supernatant liquid whey is drained. The pH value of the whey at drainage is specific for the cheese variety being processed. Liquid whey with a high pH correlates to a high calcium content.
- The next stage involves milling and salting, which are both influenced by the pH value. A lower pH during milling produces a harder cheese and a lower pH during salting results in higher salt absorption.
- After being milled and salted, some cheese varieties ripen by biochemical processes that can also affect the final pH value.
What is the importance of pH measurement in cheese manufacturing?
The cheese manufacturing industry relies on the pH monitoring of products to ensure quality, flavor, and texture. The pH value acts as a proxy for microbial culture activity and is one of the deciding factors for the physicochemical, biochemical, microbiological, and sensory properties of cheese. These parameters form the characteristic flavor and texture of a cheese. Therefore, from the initial pH measurement during the acidification of milk, to the final measurements of ripened cheese, pH is an important control parameter for achieving the desired batch consistency.