Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation

Animals, Agriculture & Food
Animals Agriculture Food
Inhibiting Storage Browning in Cheese
WARF: P130152US01

Inventors: Scott Rankin

The Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation (WARF) is seeking commercial partners interested in developing a method to control browning and associated off-flavoring in cheese, especially Parmesan.
For 800 years Parmesan has been one of the most sought-after cheeses and today supports a billion dollar market. Parmesan is susceptible to an unappealing browning effect that is not fully understood but involves the compound methylglyoxal, which results from microbial metabolism. It isn’t prevented by refrigeration.

Appearance and proper flavor are critical to cheese marketability. Preventing browning and its impacts on taste and odor would help products retain their value.
The Invention
A UW–Madison researcher has developed a method to inhibit methylglyoxal-mediated cheese browning using a reducing agent. The reducing agent, such as glutathione or sodium sulphite, is added in an effective amount to cheese upon shredding.
  • Inhibiting browning in Parmesan cheese
Key Benefits
  • First known means to prevent this type of browning
  • Treated cheese has better color, odor and flavor.
  • Products retain market value.
Stage of Development
The development of this technology was supported by WARF Accelerator. WARF Accelerator selects WARF's most commercially promising technologies and provides expert assistance and funding to enable achievement of commercially significant milestones. WARF believes that these technologies are especially attractive opportunities for licensing.
Additional Information
For More Information About the Inventors
  • Divine R. D. and Rankin S.A. 2013. Reducing Agents Attenuate Methylglyoxal-Based Browning in Parmesan Cheese. J. Dairy Sci. 96, 6242-6247.
  • Divine R. D., Sommer D., Lopez-Hernandez A. and Rankin S.A. 2012. Evidence for Methylglyoxal-Mediated Browning of Parmesan Cheese During Aging. J. Dairy Sci. 95, 2347-2354.
For current licensing status, please contact Emily Bauer at [javascript protected email address] or 608-960-9842