Phosphates and citrates are calcium sequestering salts (CSS) most commonly used in the manufacture of processed cheese, either singly or in mixtures. Caseins are the main structure forming elements in processed cheese. Calcium sequestering salts decrease the concentration of free calcium ions by sequestering calcium from the aqueous phase and dissociates the casein micelles into small clusters by altering the calcium equilibrium, thereby resulting in enhanced hydration and voluminosity of the micelles. Several researchers have studied milk protein systems such as rennet casein, milk protein concentrate, skim milk powder, and micellar casein concentrate to elucidate the influence of calcium sequestering salts on (para-)casein micelles. This review paper provides an overview of the effects of calcium sequestering salts on the properties of casein micelles and consequently the physico-chemical, textural, functional, and sensorial attributes of processed cheese. A lack of proper understanding of the mechanisms underlying the action of calcium sequestering salts on the processed cheese characteristics increases the risk of failed production, leading to the waste of resources and unacceptable sensorial, appearance, and textural attributes, which adversely affect the financial side of processors and customer expectations.
- calcium sequestering salts
- casein micelles