To read this content please select one of the options below:

Dairy-free imitation cheese: is further development required?

Maximiliano Nicolás Saraco (Department of Healthcare and Food, Cardiff School of Sport and Health Sciences, Cardiff Metropolitan University, Cardiff, UK)
James Blaxland (Department of Healthcare and Food, Cardiff School of Sport and Health Sciences, Cardiff Metropolitan University, Cardiff, UK)

British Food Journal

ISSN: 0007-070X

Article publication date: 30 June 2020

Issue publication date: 15 October 2020

1185

Abstract

Purpose

The aim of this study was to compare the organoleptic attributes and meltability of selected, commercial dairy-free imitation cheeses (DFICs) with those of their dairy counterparts to thus determine whether commercial DFIC needs to be further developed.

Design/methodology/approach

Market research was conducted to determine the availability of DFICs in the United Kingdom (UK) and thus select the varieties to assess. Mild cheddar was chosen for its popularity wide availability in the United Kingdom and Italian-style hard cheese for its complex organoleptic profile. The organoleptic attributes and melting properties of the chosen DFIC products were assessed by using descriptive sensory evaluation and their meltability was assessed using the Arnott test, respectively.

Findings

109 different DFICs were found; most of them (74%) presented coconut oil as their primary ingredient. None of the assessed DFICs assessed could mimic the organoleptic attributes of their dairy counterparts accurately; however, one of the non-dairy mild cheddar samples was regarded as potentially acceptable by the assessors of the sensory evaluation assessors. Nonetheless, the meltability of this sample was significantly lower than that of mild cheddar cheese.

Practical implications

The findings indicate that, to obtain products that can mimic the organoleptic attributes and meltability of cheese more accurately, further development is required for the DFIC varieties assessed.

Originality/value

No academic publications have explored and investigated commercial DFICs with similar ingredients to those found in commercial DFICs; the commercial importance of these products may augment in the short term owing to the reported growth in the number of vegan individuals in the UK and in Europe.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

The authors would like to thank Cardiff Metropolitan University for the provision of the materials, equipment and facilities required to conduct this study, to the participants of the sensory evaluation for their time and to Dr. Ruth Fairchild for the guidance and support provided.

Citation

Nicolás Saraco, M. and Blaxland, J. (2020), "Dairy-free imitation cheese: is further development required?", British Food Journal, Vol. 122 No. 12, pp. 3727-3740. https://doi.org/10.1108/BFJ-11-2019-0825

Publisher

:

Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2020, Emerald Publishing Limited

Related articles