Date of Award


Degree Name

MS in Agriculture - Dairy Products Technology


Dairy Science


Dr. Rafael Jimenez


The chemical composition of milk (specifically casein, fat, and calcium) is known to affect the quality and functional properties of Mozzarella cheese. Therefore, concentrations of total nitrogen, casein nitrogen, non-casein nitrogen, non-protein nitrogen, true nitrogen, casein nitrogen to total nitrogen ratio, casein nitrogen to true nitrogen ratio, fat, total calcium, total solids, somatic cells, and pH were measured in silo milk samples collected weekly over 18-months from a large dairy plant in Central Valley, California from July 2008 to December 2009 to verify changes and correlate to low moisture part skim Mozzarella (LMPS) characteristics. LMPS mozzarella cheese from the same plant was also collected biweekly during the same period and analyzed five days post manufacture for total nitrogen, water soluble nitrogen, total calcium, water soluble calcium, salt, pH, fat in dry matter and total solids and texture properties (i.e., hardness (g), cohesiveness, springiness, chewiness (g), aggregation index (AGI), and percentage cheese loss during shredding). Significant seasonal variations of total nitrogen, non-protein nitrogen, casein nitrogen, casein nitrogen to total nitrogen ratio, casein nitrogen to true nitrogen ratio, and total calcium in milk were explained using a linear model equivalent to a basic single cosinor model with sine and cosine of week (converted into radians) as predictors. Correlation studies were done between milk composition and cheese composition, milk composition and cheese textural characteristics as well as cheese composition and cheese texture, showing that concentration of total calcium and nitrogen fractions in cheese milk significantly affected the texture and composition of LMPS mozzarella. Also, the cheese total nitrogen, total calcium and water soluble calcium affected the cheese texture. The LMPS Mozzarella that was firmer and more cohesive had less loss during shredding and aggregated to a lesser extent. The milk total nitrogen, non-protein nitrogen, casein nitrogen, casein to total protein ratio, casein to true protein ratio, and total calcium had positive correlation with each other. However, the milk non-casein nitrogen did not significantly correlate with other nitrogen fractions and total calcium of milk. In addition, there was a significant increase of water soluble nitrogen, percent loss in shredding and aggregation index, and a significant decrease of hardness, and chewiness of LMPS Mozzarella ripened at 8.90 C in comparison to the cheese ripened at 3.30 C for 21 days.