The search for a professional master’s degree in milk and dairy science and technology has been developed in partnership between UFJF, ILCT and Embrapa Gado de Leite (Photo: Disclosure / ILCT)
Between May 2021 and April of this year, prices for long-life milk, sold in a carton, and cheese rose by about 15%. Milk and dairy drinks 18%. And curd is more expensive by 20%. Much higher rates of cumulative inflation during this period, which stood at 11.30%, according to the IBGE (Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics).
The constant rise reflects production costs that affect the entire dairy chain and which, according to producers, also do not stop rising. At least in terms of demand, the novelty studied at Juiz de Fora could mean a reduction in cost and price.
A study conducted by a professional master’s student in Milk and Dairy Science and Technology at the Federal University of Juiz de Fora (UFJF), Nawal Karim Arbex, under the guidance of Professor and Researcher of the Instituto de Laticínios Cândido Tostes (ILCT), Denis Sobral, evaluates the replacement of milk fat with coconut oil. India in the manufacture of cream cheese. The project also has a partnership with the Brazilian Agricultural Research Corporation (Embrapa Gado de Leite).
The new product labeled as a mixture of cream cheese and vegetable fats could be an alternative to the industry’s demand for healthier and more effective products, as well as significant savings in production costs.
According to Denis Sobral, the current legislation stipulates that it is a mandatory component for the manufacture of cream cheese, milk cream, milk fat, obtained by partial skimming of milk, which is perishable and expensive. “We have a huge demand from the industry to replace these fats that need to be refrigerated and have a short shelf life of three to four days.”
The addition of vegetable fats leads to the designation of the product as a cream cheese mixture, in accordance with the requirements of the legislation. The researcher notes that this mixture has already been tested by industry. “However, the vegetable fats evaluated led to a loss of quality, particularly in flavour, and left a residual aftertaste, which, in some cases, is corrected by the addition of aromas.”
In the project developed in Joys de Fora, Nawal Karim Arbex and Denise Sobral tested a leave-in vegetable fat that improved dairy logistics, as well as a healthy appeal. “And among the fats available on the market, we identified coconut oil as the most suitable for our project,” explains the professor.
According to her, three types of products were produced: one with only milk fat, the other with partial replacement of milk fat with coconut fat, and the other without adding milk fat. “As an initial test, we decided to perform a total or partial substitution of 50% of each fat. We will analyze the approximate composition of the treatments of the different formulas, texture analysis, color analysis, dissolution.”
The good news, according to the researchers, is that the product has proven manufacturability. “Then we’ll do the statistics to see if there’s any difference with respect to the traditional product,” explains Dennis.
This initial stage does not expect the performance of organoleptic tests, but the first impressions collected by the staff and collaborators are that there is no loss in flavor and quality. “The pandemic makes it difficult to do this kind of testing, but the people involved in the project have tasted it and liked it. Even our 100% coconut oil product did not taste like coconut. So we think the project is very promising,” says the researcher.
Regarding cost, Dennis Sobral reports that the calculation methodology is still being determined. “Coconut fat is not very cheap and, on the other hand, it does not need a cold chain. In this way, savings can be achieved on refrigeration, labor and transportation, since milk fat often has to be purchased from other producers. These factors must be taken into account in The final analysis,” he argues.
The project does not include assessment of nutritional aspects, but it is possible that the already known benefits of coconut oil in food, such as lowering cholesterol levels, reducing cardiovascular disease, controlling diabetes (due to low blood glucose fasting), prevention From Alzheimer’s disease, also present in the new product.
The Professional Master’s Degree in Science and Technology of Milk and Dairy Products has been developed in partnership with the Federal University of Juiz de Fora (UFJF), IPAMEG, Instituto Laticinhos Candido Tostes (IPAMIG ILCT) and the Brazilian Foundation for Agricultural Research (Embrapa Gado). de Leite), with the aim of training qualified personnel for advanced professional practice of procedures and processes applicable to technology development for the dairy sector.
* With information from the Minas Agency
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