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An improved tracer method for measuring the syneresis of rennet curd

Authors: P. Zviderans and E.R.B. Graham

Abstract:

An improved laboratory method for determining the rate and extent of whey expulsion (syneresis) from stirred rennet curd involves measuring the progressive dilution of Blue Dextran 2000 in the whey. Rennet is added to 354 mL of milk at the required temperature and pH. When the coagulum reaches a predetermined firmness it is cut into cubes and Blue Dextran 2000 is added. The curd is stirred and samples of whey are taken at intervals. The whey samples are clarified and the absorbance is measured at 620 nm. The total whey volume for each sample time is calculated. Blue Dextran 2000 was found to be a suitable tracer as its adsorption to the curd is slight, it can be added to the curd in a relatively small volume and it is commercially available. The average coefficient of variation of the calculated whey volumes was 1.4% for five replicates. The method appears to be more precise than other laboratory methods for measuring syneresis and gives a reasonable estimate of the volume of whey drained from the curd on the completion of sampling.

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