The mathematical modelling of cheese ripening

Winston L. Sweatman, Steven Psaltis, Steven Dargaville, Alistair Fitt, Tony Gibb, Brodie Lawson, Kaye Marion


A mathematical model is developed for the ripening of cheese. Such models may assist predicting final cheese quality using measured initial composition. The main constituent chemical reactions are described with ordinary differential equations. Numerical solutions to the model equations are found using Matlab. Unknown parameter values have been fitted using experimental data available in the literature. The results from the numerical fitting are in good agreement with the data. Statistical analysis is performed on near infrared data provided to the MISG. However, due to the inhomogeneity and limited nature of the data, not many conclusions can be drawn from the analysis. A simple model of the potential changes in acidity of cheese is also considered. The results from this model are consistent with cheese manufacturing knowledge, in that the pH of cheddar cheese does not significantly change during ripening.

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