The aim of the TIROS project is to provide the cheese manufacturers with the way and means to control the texture of soft cheeses, specifically through cheesemilk preparation.
To reach this goal, a three step approach is considered.
- First, it is necessary to understand the effects of the major milk preparation
techniques (e.g. standardisation, prematuration, heat shocked starters, ...)
on the coagulation and draining processes.
This requires :
- to quantify the impact of milk modification at the level of molecular interactions
and of microstructures;
- to understand the formation of the continuous texture by elucidating the
mechanisms of curd grains fusion;
- to describe through a mathematical model the migration of water and solutes
at the different stages of the cheese process.
- Texture sensory analysis of ripened soft cheeses will be related to the physical
properties and the microstructural characteristics of the finished products.
- The information acquired through the two first steps and pilot scale cheese
production will allow to build up a predictive model of soft cheese texture as a
function of milk and technological treatments.
The TIROS project is multidisciplinary and involves both specialists in technology (IE, FR) and in cognitive sciences (BE, FR & SE). The coordination will be assumed by an industrial company with a strong experience in research project management. The outcomes of the TIROS project will cover domains ranging from basic sciences to economical developments. The most significant advances in fundamental dairy sciences will be a curd grain fusion theory, a mathematical model of water migration during the soft cheese process, and a predictive model of soft cheese texture.
Moreover, the knowledge acquired through the TIROS project with bovine milk will set a basis for specific studies of the texture of goat and ewe milk cheeses in southern European countries. The data necessary for the TIROS project will yield new techniques and instruments such as the method for determination of surface force strength; Confocal Scanning Laser Microscopy protocols; Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI).
On the industrial point of view, the straightforward consequences of the TIROS project will be to make easier the set up and control of the soft cheese technologies. In turn this will allow a new use and better valorisation of milk independently of its regional seasonal, or breed origins. Therefore the TIROS project should lead to spread the production of high quality soft cheese in the European countries where it is absent. Ultimately, the expected result will be the creation of new cheese factories and favourable consequences on employment in the rural areas.
Funding SchemeCSC - Cost-sharing contracts
221 00 Lund