This Week's Other Stories:

EDITORIAL COMMENT: What If The US Still Had A Dairy Price Support Program?

LEAD STORY: Sartori, Dean Foods & The Comfy Cow Earn Top Honors In WDE Dairy Product Contest

OTHER NEWS: McCadam Cheese Wins NYS Fair Dairy Products Competition With Aged Cheddar

GUEST COLUMNIST:  
Prices Will Depend on Production Levelst by Bob Cropp

COMPANY PROFILE:  
Tucumcari Mountain Cheese Factory Expands Into Ricotta, Doubles Feta Output

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XRF Spectrometry Verified As Quick, Accurate New Method To Measure Sodium In Cheese

X-ray fluorescence spectroscopy can be successfully used for the rapid and direct measurement of sodium content in a wide variety of natural cheeses, Wisconsin Center for Dairy Research (CDR) staff have confirmed.

The XRF technology had not previously been considered as a means for measuring sodium in cheese, but thanks to funding from the Innovation Center for US Dairy, CDR staff were able to successfully develop and validate a method for both natural and processed cheeses.

This work, by J. A. Stankey, C. Akbulut, J.E. Romero and S. Govindasamy-Lucey, was published in the August edition of the Journal of Dairy Science.

The sodium content of cheese is typically determined coulometrically using a chloride analyzer, which is rapid and easy to operate, the study noted. However, this method indirectly determines sodium by measuring the amount of chloride ions present in the cheese.

This is a “major problem” when determining the sodium content of cheeses containing potassium chloride, large salt crystals/flakes, and sea salt (which also contains potassium and magnesium salts), which some cheese makers are using as sodium replacers, the study pointed out.

Also, the chloride analyzer is not used for process cheeses, which are manufactured with various sodium-based emulsifying salts, such as sodium phosphate or sodium citrate.

Thus, when sodium replacers are used in cheese, sodium must be determined via an alternative method, the study stated. In these cases, it is preferable to directly measure the sodium content.

Direct measurement of sodium content in foods is commonly done using atomic absorption spectroscopy or inductively coupled plasma optical emission spectroscopy, both of which require costly ultra-pure reagents, are laborious, and require complex sample preparation, the study noted.

The X-ray fluorescence analysis (XRF) method has previously been used to determine the concentration of elements in a diverse number of applications, including metal, cement, oil, polymer, plastics, mining, and minerals.

X-ray fluorescence is also a rapid, precise, nondestructive, and a potential alternative method for direct sodium determination in foods, the study explained. Several studies have used .. Send me more information.