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The present investigation was planned and conducted to evaluate the efficacy of two debittering agents viz. zinc sulphate and β-cyclodextrin in reducing bitterness of lemon rinds and to optimize the level of addition of debittered lemon rinds in lemon flavoured paneer (LFP). Optimization of the manufacturing parameters was done by using Response Surface Methodology (RSM) with central composite rotatable design. Based on the results obtained in this study it was concluded that the optimum parameters for debittering of lemon rinds was by treating lemon rinds in a solution of 50 mg zinc sulphate/100 ml water and 200 mg β-cyclodextrin/100 ml of water for 12 h at 7±1°C. The optimum level of addition of debittered lemon rind shreds in paneer milk was found to be 8.0 g/kg of milk. Both the debittering agents when used individually did not have any effect on bitterness but when used in combination resulted in significant improvement in flavour scores and total score of LFP. Yield of control paneer prepared from standardized milk (4.5% fat/ 8.5% MSNF) and LFP was 17 and 18%, respectively. Vitamin-C, fiber and zinc content of LFP was 7 mg/100 g, 0.6% and 11.36 mg/ kg of paneer, respectively. One serving of LFP is expected to provide 11% RDA of important trace element zinc.
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