Packaging Storage (4°C)
Figure 5 Processing of fromage frais using ultrafiltration system. (From Ref. 33.)
Incorporation of refrigerated cream has a cooling effect; however, additional cooling is required. Tubular heat exchangers are frequently utilized for cooling because of the gentle effect on product viscosity. Likewise, positive-displacement pumps must be utilized at all times following curd separation to assure minimal product abuse.
The low pH of fromage frais makes it sensitive to yeast and mold growth (34). Traditionally, these contaminants were often introduced with the fruit. Dairy processors re sponded to this challenge by demanding high microbiological standards from fruit suppliers. The risk can be controlled through addition of sorbate (permitted by European legislation), which is effective against a wide range of yeast flora (35). However, processing plants that practice high levels of sanitation, process control, ultraclean packaging rooms, filtered laminar air flow, and so forth can produce fromage frais without using sorbate or any other preservative.
Fromage frais is packaged in cups ranging in size from 0.03 kg to 1 kg. The fillers are similar to yogurt fillers and work at high capacity. Packaging materials are often polystyrene or polypropylene and the cups are either preformed by injection molding or ther-moformed prior to filling.
Table 2 Product Defects and Potential Remedies
Yeast and mold contamination
Bitter off flavors
Grainy texture Syneresis
High bacterial content of raw milk Postpasteurization contamination Excessive levels of potassium sorbate
Addition of contaminated fruit products
Product pH too close to isoelectric point Incorrect gel formation Product abuse during storage and distribution
Improve quality of raw milk, decrease raw milk storage temperature and storage time. Improve cleaning and sanitation. Decrease product storage and distribution temperatures Decrease concentration of potassium sorbate Improve quality of fruit products added Add sorbate
Improve quality of raw milk to lower concentration of bacterial heat stable proteases Lower concentration of rennet or change to different rennet product Lower pH of product
Decrease rate of fermentation, increase protein content, increase pasteurization temperature Increase cold storage time before distribution. Decrease storage and distribution temperature. Decrease physical movement (shaking, bumping) of products during transportation
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