Impact of environmental conditions on the ripening of Queijo de Évora PDO cheese

João Mestre Dias, Patricia Lage, Nuno Alvarenga, João Garcia, Joana Borrega, Maria Teresa Santos, Célia Lampreia, Luis Coelho, João Pássaro, João C. Martins, José Jasnau Caeiro, Elsa M. Gonçalves, António P. L. Martins

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

“Queijo de Évora” is a traditional Portuguese cheese from raw ewe’s milk and granted with PDO label. It is ripened traditionally in rooms with empirical control of temperature and humidity. Nowadays, almost all cheese factories use rooms with temperature and humidity control, but still a significant heterogeneity among cheeses is acknowledged due to unequal distribution of environmental conditions. This paper discusses the influence of the environmental conditions on the ripening of Queijo de Évora, including the application of computational fluid dynamics in steady state conditions. Experimental data was obtained in cheeses ripened along the traditional ripening cycle, in different locations. A significant influence of environmental conditions was observed, especially air velocity and humidity, affecting physical–chemical, microbiological and sensory characteristics. Locations with higher air velocity, presented cheeses with lower moisture content, higher mesophilic bacteria count, darker appearance and higher number of holes. Locations with higher humidity presented cheeses with lower scores on some sensorial parameters like appearance, firmness and intensity of odor. The results of computational fluid dynamics made possible the identification of areas in and around the cheese stacks were the air distribution is less than adequate or uneven, which may influence the evolution of cheese during ripening.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Food Science and Technology
DOIs
Publication statusAccepted/In press - Oct 2020

Keywords

  • CFD
  • Cheese
  • Queijo de évora
  • Ripening
  • Sensorial

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