Main Ingredients involved in Cheese Making
02. Rennet/ culture
03. Flavoring agent
Cheese is the fresh or ripened solid or semi-solid product in which the whey protein/casein ratio does not exceed that of milk, obtained:
- By coagulating (wholly or partly) the following raw materials: milk, skimmed milk, partly skimmed milk, cream, whey cream, or buttermilk, through the action of rennet or other suitable coagulating agents, and by partially draining the whey resulting from such coagulation;
- By processing techniques involving coagulation of milk and/or materials obtained from milk that gives an end product which has its own physical, chemical and organoleptic characteristics.
Cheese can be broadly categorized as acid or rennet cheese, and natural or process cheeses.
- Acid cheeses are made by adding acid to the milk to cause the proteins to coagulate.
- Fresh cheeses, such as cream cheese or queso fresco, are made by direct acidification.
- Most types of cheese, such as cheddar or Swiss, use rennet (an enzyme) in addition to the starter cultures to coagulate the milk.
The term “natural cheese” is an industry term referring to cheese that is made directly from milk. Process cheese is made using natural cheese plus other ingredients that are cooked together to change the textural and/or melting properties and increase shelf life.
“The moisture content of the cheese serves to distinguish various categories, such as hard (low-moisture), semi-hard and soft cheeses.”
General Cheese Making Steps:
1. Standardize Milk
2. Pasteurize Milk/ Heat Treatment
3. Cool Milk
4. Inoculate with starter &non starter bacteria and ripen
5. Add Rennet and form curd
6. Cut Curd and Heat
7. Drain Whey
8. Texture Curd
9. Dry Salt or brine
10. Form cheese into blocks
11. Store and age
The main ingredient in cheese is milk. Cheese is made using cow, goat, sheep, water buffalo or a blend of these milks.
The type of coagulant used depends on the type of cheese desired.
- For acid cheeses, an acid source such as acetic acid (the acid in vinegar) or gluconodelta-lactone (a mild food acid) is used.
- For rennet cheeses, calf rennet or, more commonly, rennet produced through microbial bio-processing is used.
Flavorings may be added depending on the cheese. Some common ingredients include herbs, spices, hot and sweet peppers, horseradish, and port wine.
There is a wide variety of lactic acid bacteria cultures available, used for cheese making that provide distinct flavour and texture to the end product. These cultures are used to assist with coagulation by lowering the pH prior to rennet addition.
Yeasts and molds are used in some cheeses to provide the characteristic flavours and colors.