ía Mesoamericana ISSN electrónico: 2215-3608

Salt in cheese: several interactions.

Juan Sabastián Ramírez-Navas, Jessica Aguirre-Londoño, Víctor Alexander Aristizabal-Ferreira, Sandra Castro-Narváez



The objective of this study was to analyze the effect of salt on some of the physical properties of cheese, its interaction with the cheese’s ingredients, and the effect of sodium content on consumers’ health. Salt is an important ingredient as -in a large extent- it determines the quality of the product and its acceptance by the consumer. The saltiness of the cheese influences its quality due to its effects on the composition, microbial growth and enzyme activity. It exerts a significant influence on its rheology and texture, as well as on its maturation, mainly through its effects on water activity. Salt levels in cheese range from 0.6% w/w NaCl to approximately 7% w/w NaCl. Given that cheese consumption is increasing worldwide, it is important to consider reducing its salt levels in a way that does not affect its consumption. Partial substitution of salt with other components/ingredients is among the strategies that have been considered in order to reduce salt levels. However, the disadvantage of replacing NaCI is its effect on the sensory properties, chemical composition, proteolysis and texture of cheese. Another interesting alternative to replacing NaCI is the use of membrane technology to obtain a rich permeate in salts that come from whey. The addition of these salts in the cheese processing produces low-sodium cheeses with good texture. 



milk byproducts; organoleptic properties; sodium chloride; health.


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