When it comes to how pizza looks, cheese matters!
Researchers evaluated the pizza baking performance of different cheeses (mozzarella, cheddar, colby, Edam, Emmental, Gruyere and provolone) in conjunction with a new quantifiable evaluation technique to see how their composition and functional differences affected browning and blistering.
The study in the Journal of Food Science, published by the Institute of Food Technologists (IFT), found that the elasticity, free oil, moisture, water activity and transition temperature all influence the colour uniformity of cheeses.
Blisters were not formed for cheddar, colby, and Edam cheeses because of their small elasticity, researchers found.
A sufficient amount of free oil prevents moisture evaporation, and thus there was less intensive browning on Gruyere and provolone, and hardly at all with Emmental.
Therefore, these cheeses can be combined with the easily blistering mozzarella to create a gourmet pizza with a less burnt appearance.
For the study, researchers developed a machine vision technique coupling careful imaging with quantified image analysis to help quantify a description that can be used by pizza manufacturers to make an appealing product for consumers.