Non-thermal processing of skim milk: Impact on microbial reduction, physico-chemical properties and quality of Brie type cheese
Pulsed Electric Fields (PEF) and Microfiltration (MF) are emerging non-thermal technologies that are gaining in popularity, since they preserve food by inactivation of microorganisms and fulfill the demand for minimally processed and fresh-like foods with natural taste and extended shelf life. The present research investigated the effect of either stand-alone or a combination of PEF and MF treatments on microbial reduction, physicochemical properties in skim milk and its comparison with HTST treatments, and also explored the quality of Brie type cheese preparation and its comparison with raw milk cheese. Reduction in microbial load by non-thermal technologies were comparable or even better than HTST treatments, and effects on physico-chemical properties were varied depending on the use of different pore sized MFs. Significant effects of non-thermal technologies were not observed on cheese quality and microbial analysis of ripened cheese did not detect the presence of pathogenic bacteria.