Measuring and comparing the water activity and salt content in Parenica cheeses made by traditional and industrial technology
Roczniki Panstwowego Zakladu Higieny
Background. Slovenská Parenica is one of the most traditional and ever-popular sheep´s milk cheese specialities. This cheese has been registered as a geographical indication (PGI) in the EU. Parenica cheese is produced also from cow´s milk, but without the trade name "Slovenská/Slovak". Objective. The aim of our research was was statistical reporting and results visualization of water activity analysis and salt content in cow´s milk Parenica cheeses from 8 small and medium-sized Slovak dairy
... zed Slovak dairy producers. Material and method. A total of 320 samples of smoked and non-smoked Parenica cheeses made from cow´s milk using traditional and industrial technology were examined during the 10-month period. Each cheese was analysed immediately after sampling (A) and subsequently after 7 days of storing at 4°C (B). The salt content was measured on the Chloride analyser M 926 and the water activity on the Fast-Lab meter. Due to the hierarchical design of the experiment, the linear mixed models via the R statistical environment to compare the differences in the water activity and salt content were used. Results. Statistical reporting and visualization of water activity measurements showed significant differences between samples A and B ( p = 0.0129) and between kinds of Parenica cheese ( p = 0.0196). The value of water activity ranged from 0.908 to 0.975 (A) with the increasing trend after storing in both kinds of Parenica cheese. The impact of dairy producer type was not significant. The higher content of NaCl was found in fresh Parenica cheese from small farms (nonsmoked: 2.51 ±1.12 g/100 g, smoked: 1.97 ±0.89 g/100 g). The average salt content in cheeses from industrial dairies was 1.65 ±0.34 g/100 g (non-smoked) and 1.96 ±0.43 g/100 g (smoked). Results showed lower variability of salt content in cheeses from industrial dairies. Conclusions. It can be concluded that especially the small producers can have probably problem in noncompliance with the technological processes, non-implementation of standardized procedures and underestimation of hygiene regulations.