The aim of this research was to determine and compare the changes of the chosen physical, chemical, rheological and sensorial features during the ripening of Dutch type reduced fat and full fat cheeses. The research was conducted on commercially produced cheeses. They were examined after first, second, fourth, sixth and eighth week of ripening. The cheeses samples were analyzed for: the water content, fat content, total nitrogen content , soluble nitrogen, pH, water activity, hardness and elasticity. The sensorial evaluation of the cheeses was done by a 5-member team after the eighth week of the ripening period. The following properties were assessed: the flavour (significance factor 0,3), the fragrance (0,2), consistency (0,3) and appearance (0,2). A 5-point scale extended by half-point ranges was applied. The water content in reduced fat cheeses, containing approx. 15% fat, should not exceed 48-49%, since these cheeses may exhibit too little hardness when compared with full fat cheeses. The changes of pH of Dutch type reduced fat cheeses were similar to the ones observed in the full fat cheeses. The content of soluble nitrogen during the ripening period of reduced fat and full fat cheeses was similar, which is a sign of a similar degree of protein degradation. However, because of the lower results in the organoleptic evaluation of the reduced fat cheeses (slight bitterness), milk starters that have the ability to decompose the bitter peptides should be applied.
reduced fat cheeses, ripening, physical and chemical features