Mozzarella cheese is a soft, un-ripened cheese variety of the Pasta filata family which had its origin in the Battipaglia region of Italy (Citro, 1981). Conventionally, Mozzarella cheese was made from buffalo milk. However, these days it is being manufactured in Italy, in other European countries and USA from cow milk which needs appropriate modifications (Ghosh et al., 1990). The cheese is white, soft with a glossy surface and is valued for its stretch property. In Italy Mozzarella and pizza cheese accounts for 78% of the total Italian cheese production (Merrill et al., 1994).
Mozzarella is still America’s favorite cheese, U.S. cheese availability stood at 33.5 pounds per person in 2014. Mozzarella and Cheddar together accounted for 62% of cheese availability in 2014. Per capita cheese availability has almost tripled since 1970, when it was 11.4 pounds per person (Sam Brasch, 2014).
Plastic curd or “Pasta filata” cheese family consists of a large distinguished cheese varieties produced mainly in Italy, Eastern European and Balkan Peninsula and Middle Eastern Arab countries (Abou Donia, 2005).
The production of the plastic curd cheese was highly increased in all of the Egyptian provinces during the last decades because the fresh curd after kneading treatment in hot water of the above cheese varieties could be utilized as a topping on pizza, but the most known one in that concern is Mozzarella cheese (Abou Donia, 2005).
In the Middle East mozzarella cheese is known as Al- Medaffarah or Al-Meshallela cheese because the cheese has the shape of girl plait. The curd of this cheese was made from ewe milk by sheep shepherds, while kneading and molding were done by house wives. The cheese was preserved for year round in saturated brine (Abou-Donia and Abdel-Kader, 1979).
According to Ahmed (2004) the special characteristics of Mozzarella cheese are, soft and normally white in color, must be shareable to enable homogeneous distribution, fibrous structure, good melting and stretching properties, mild aroma and flavor and consumed in the melted state and specially used as pizza topping. Mozzarella cheese contribute to the organoleptic characteristics of most foods in which it is incorporated by possessing certain; taste, aroma, texture and mouth coating characteristics. Upon grilling or baking it is required to melt, flow, brown, blister, oil-off and / or stretch to varying degrees. It is also expected to be chewy and contribute to certain mouth coating characteristics.
The Egyptian Organization of Standardization and Quality Control ES: 1008-14/2005 part 14, defined Mozzarella cheese as a soft cheese, moisture should not exceed 54%, fat not less than 45% as fat/DM for whole milk cheese, In case of 3/4 of milk fat, fat content of cheese not less than 35% Fat/DM and moisture content not exceed 57%. As for 1/2 milk fat, Fat /DM not less than 25% and moisture not exceed 60%. Whey proteins in Mozzarella cheese not more than 23% of total protein.
In Egypt there is a shortage in milk production since there is a challenge between, growing green forage for cattle feeding and wheat production for human consumption prices of fresh milks are annually increasing, most of buffalo milk was consumed for drinking, while a part of cow milk is processing into soft white cheese, and Ras cheese, the rest is not enough for Mozzarella production. On the other hand, people are eager to consume natural butter or butter oils of cows or buffalos milk leaving the skim milk of buffalo and cow milk for low price Kareish cheese. Mozzarella cheese from whole cow or buffalo milks is costly, at mean time processors did not highly succeed to manufacture high quality cheese from skimmed cow, buffaloes and powder milks containing palm oil, which is permitted by the Ministry of Health and Population, so the aim of this investigation is to run the alternative experiments for utilizing the skim milks with palm oil for the production of high quality mozzarella cheese. To answer the questions of processors and consumers, processors search for high yield and good marketing, while consumers searching for high rheological proportion mozzarella cheese for pizza making.