The secret of great strings in pizza cheese

Lyckeby CheeseApp is a starch portfolio that makes it possible to efficiently manufacture high-quality products in the processed cheese segment. Lyckeby, the innovative Swedish starch producer have done it again, they recently released a completely new range of starches for the purpose of producing processed cheese. We caught up with Mia Henrysson from the application development team at Lyckeby to learn more about what is important for a perfect cheese and factors of importance achieving a satisfactory melt and stretch.

First, can you summarize the new range of CheeseApp and the general purpose of the starches? 

The Lyckeby CheeseApp starches are well suited for use in different kinds of processed cheese, cheese analogues, block cheese, individually wrapped slices, cheese fillings and pizza cheese. The starches are taste neutral without leaving any off taste to the final cheese product, explains Mia Henrysson highlighting one of the best properties with potato as raw material.

CheeseApp is free from allergens and non-GMO. Using Lyckeby CheeseApp offers opportunities for cost saving by replacing ingredients such as cheese, casein, milk powder, etc. while still achieving satisfactory texture, mouthfeel and properties for melt and stretch.

The range includes gelling, thickening and emulsion stabilizing starches. Lyckeby CheeseApp 30-70 contributes with properties such as elasticity, firmness, softness and brittleness. Lyckeby CheeseApp 10 is used for optimizing viscosity during production and CheeseApp 20 is used for preventing oiling-out/fat separation. By combining the Lyckeby CheeseApp starches the desired shredability, meltability, stretchability, sliceability, appearance and mouthfeel can be reached in the end product.

Could you explain the most important factors to achieve a great, but affordable, pizza cheese?

Choosing the most suitable Lyckeby CheeseApp starch or a unique starch combination will be based on knowledge about the desired properties of the final product, specific characteristics of the Lyckeby CheeseApp starches, the processed cheese ingredients and the manufacturing process used. One thing I have learned is that the challenges varies a lot between every cheese producer we work with, says Mia Henrysson. Luckily, we normally manage to achieve a good balance in the recipe and the process working in close cooperation with the food producer.

A common challenge for pizza cheese is to achieve a satisfactory meltability and stretch when using lower dosages of milk protein. We have been able to solve this by using the right combination of Lyckeby CheeseApp 70 for soft, meltable texture but still shredable, with Lyckeby CheeseApp 20 to avoid fat separation and Lyckeby CheeseApp 10 to adjust the viscosity during the process and improve stretch in projects we have been involved in.

To maintain an acceptable stretch, you need to consider the parameters of the process, highlights Mia Henrysson. One need to aim for a gentle process with minimum temperature, careful mixing and minimum time in order to preserve the natural ability of stretch and melt of the casein. To reach a satisfying stretch in pizza cheese is absolutely possible while keeping your cost of formulation low. 

Finally, what is the next step in your development of Lyckeby CheeseApp? 

Working with the CheeseApp project has been so exciting, explains Mia. We have been able to utilize some of the best properties with potato based speciality starch and applied it in a very important and growing application, processed cheese.

We aim to further extend the range of CheeseApp starches and our know-how supporting our customers. In this quest, we need to understand better the structure of natural cheese in order to be able to mimic these properties with our starches. Currently, we focus on developing new formulations for spreadable cheese, cream cheese and for vegan cheese-like products. The possibilities are endless and it is great to be working with an application with such strong interest worldwide. 

Read more about Lyckeby CheeseApp here. 

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