Friday 19 January 2018

Battle of the cheeses: Scientists prove mozzarella is best for pizza

Pizza with ingredients
Pizza with ingredients

Loulla-Mae Eleftheriou Smith

Mozzarella is generally thought of as the staple for any good pizza; it’s delicious, it melts to perfection and it goes with almost any topping.

But now this cheese’s righteous place as the favoured fromage to top any pizza in the land has been proven – by science.

A team of food scientists have studied the elasticity and other properties of mozzarella and its possible pizza collaborators; Cheddar, Colby, Edam, Emmental, Gruyere and Provolone.

To create the perfect combination of blistering and browning, the scientists from the University of Auckland found that mozzarella was key to getting maximum pizza satisfaction.

The scientists studied the effects of the cheeses’ composition and texture, and how contributing factors such as the amount of free oil, water activity and moisture would make a difference to the final result.

The study, published in the Journal of Food Science, found that putting Cheddar, Colby or Edam alone on a pizza meant that blisters would not easily form as they lacked the elasticity, but the amount of free oil in Gruyere, Provolone and Emmental stopped moisture evaporation, meaning the cheeses couldn’t brown easily.

So what was the best bet for the perfect pizza? Using mozzarella. Combining this cheese with any of the others in the study meant the scientists could create different levels of browning or blistering, depending on the preferences.

“These cheeses can be combined with the easily blistering mozzarella to create a gourmet pizza with a less burnt appearance,” the scientists concluded.


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