Syneresis Sensor Technology Development for Curd Moisture Content Control

  • Payne, Frederick (PI)
  • Castillo, Manuel (CoI)
  • Hicks, Clair (CoI)
  • Menguc, M (CoI)

Grants and Contracts Details


The US cheese industry represents ~25% of world cheese production. The syneresis step in cheese processing controls the moisture and lactose content of curd, affecting cheese yield, consistency and quality. Unfortunately, there is no sensor technology for monitoring and control of syneresis in cheese manufacture. This is a proposal for renewal of our current NRI project "SYNERESIS SENSOR TECHNOLOGY DEVELOPMENT FOR CURD MOISTURE CONTENT CONTROL" to fund the validation step removed from the original proposal when we were requested to reduce the budget by $150,000. During our current NRI project ($350,000) we developed a promising optical sensor technology that predicts curd moisture content during syneresis with a SEP of 5.25% over a range 50-90%. This new technology consists of a unique sensor that measures light backscatter at a wavelength of 980 nm and yields a response which, with data processing, yields the kinetics of syneresis, and regression models which predict cutting time, whey fat losses, cheese yield and curd moisture content as a function of time. This technology is considered to offer the potential for improved process control for both high and low moisture cheese manufacture. A validation step is critically needed to refine the sensor technology and demonstrate curd moisture content control. Thus, the goal of this renewal project is to refine and validate the technology and determine the precision of curd moisture content control over a range of cheese processing conditions.
Effective start/end date4/1/089/30/10


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