Pizza is considered the most popular food in the world. According to a report published by the USDA Food Surveys Research Group, about 1 in every 8 Americans eat pizza on any given day. That’s about 13% of the U.S. population. The food is so popular that it garners its own organizations to help out businesses who make and sell pizza products like the National Association of Pizzeria Operators (NAPO) and Pizza Today. And in science news, reported by CNET on Aug. 24, scientists from New Zealand’s University of Auckland found the perfect combination of cheeses to top the most perfect pizzas.
What better way to make the world a better place than by making our favorite food item even better than it has ever been? In their report, the New Zealand scientists set out “to quantify the pizza baking properties and performance of different cheeses, including the browning and blistering, and to investigate the correlation to cheese properties (rheology, free oil, transition temperature, and water activity).” The scientists used Mozzarella, Cheddar, Colby, Edam Emmental, Gruyere and Provolone in their studies.
It turned out that mozzarella scored topmost in the realm of cheese properties. Elasticity, separation of oil from the cheese, moistness and color variations were some of the attributes to the pizza baking properties that were tested. When baked, the mozzarella dominated the cheese mixes tested; it turned out that when baked, the cheese just really looked good. While other cheeses burned and blistered (or didn’t brown at all) in ways that may have seemed less appetizing, mozzarella had “lots of elasticity and not much free oil,” wrote CNET. These properties make the cheese great for browning and the moistness of the cheese makes the most perfect pizza blisters!
So, what other cheeses should one add to the pizza cheese mix to make a perfect pizza? Daily Mail reported on Aug. 22 that the perfect combination includes cheddar in the mix. They reported that mozzarella and cheddar together create “the ideal combination of texture and flavor.” Cheddar doesn’t brown or blister on its own so the addition of mozzarella is a necessity.
This was the first study by scientific researchers “to look at the composition of the ideal pizza, without relying on humans’ taste buds,” The Daily Mail reported. The study will help pizza manufacturers make better pizzas. That’s wonderful news for the rest of us, though who could have imagined that pizza could get even better?
Want to hear more from the scientists’ mouths about the study? You can listen to this video which is just under ten minutes about it. And if that wasn’t enough, to have the perfect cheese combination to top your pie, it seems that a mathematician has created the formula for the “perfectly proportioned” pizza. Size matters in this arena. An eleven inch pizza will offer more toppings and flavor per bite. Let’s all give two hips and a hurray for science!