Thermodynamic analysis of salting cheese process

Autores UPV
Revista Journal of Food Engineering


The manufacture of cheese is a complex process which involves several phases and biochemical transformations. All these variables have important influence over the performance, composition and quality of cheese. Therefore, the optimization of the manufacturing process of this product is difficult. Salting process involves complex phenomena which are hardly to explain, and one of its main problems is the difficulty to control de simultaneous water and salt fluxes into the product and to control the proteins transformations throughout process. Water and salt transport during osmotic treatment of cheese in saturated brine, were investigated by using a thermodynamic approach. Moisture, water activity, dielectric properties and volume were measured in treated and reposed samples. A nonlinear irreversible thermodynamic model has been developed to determine the transport of water and ions through the structure of cheese, obtaining a phenomenological coefficient of 1.8 ⋅ 10−5 mol2 J−1 s−1 m−2. This model describes various phenomena that occur in salting cheese process, including the different driving forces.