Introduction to Cheese Making

3 Other Technological Criteria

The cheese families described above provide a useful ‘coat rack’ to help organize cheese according to the initial manufacturing procedures that determine cheese composition and its primary microstructure. The following is a more comprehensive summary of technological parameters that determine cheese characteristics. All of these parameters are addressed in later sections of this manual.

View from above of different types of cheese.
Different types of cheese.
  • Species
    • Cow, goat, sheep, buffalo, yak, and other ruminants
  • Milk standardization
    • Fat and protein contents
    • Whey and milk blends
  • Coagulation
    • Predominantly rennet gels
    • Predominantly acid gels
    • Heat-acid precipitates
  • Moisture control
    • Cooking temperature and time
    • Mesophilic versus thermophilic cultures
    • Amount and acidifying properties of the culture
    • Curd ripening
    • Heat treatment of the milk
      Close up view of cheddar cheese strings in plastic wrapping, showing an example of a rindless cheese that is film wrapped.
      An example of a rindless cheese that is film wrapped.
  • Type of pH control
    • Direct acidification versus fermentation
    • Amount and type of culture
    • Lactose removal:
      • Washing (American, Dutch)
      • High temperature syneresis (Swiss, Hard Italian)
      • High acid syneresis (Feta, Cheshire)
      • Curd ripening (Cheddar, low moisture Pasta Filata)
  • Extent of acid development
    Slide of a cheese with a dry rind on it, showing an example of a dry rind cheese..
    An example of a dry rind cheese.
    • Low acid (minimum pH > 5.8), Latin American fresh cheese
    • Medium acid (minimum pH 5.0 – 5.5), most European varieties
    • High acid (minimum pH < 4.9), fresh cheese, soft ripened cheese
  • Salting procedures
    • Vat salting before forming
    • Surface salting after forming
    • Immersion in salt brine
  • Type and duration of ripening
    • Fresh versus ripened
    • Interior ripening, including blue veined cheese
    • Interior and surface ripened
      • Bacterial / yeast smears
      • White surface mold
      • Mixed rinds
        Picture of brie cheese on a cutting board, showing an example of a surface ripened cheese.
        An example of a surface ripened cheese.
  • Type of rind
    • Rindless – waxed, film wrapped, resins
    • Dry rind (cured at 85% relative humidity)
    • Surface ripened (cured at 90 – 95% relative humidity)
  • Texture and body
    • Openings: mechanical, small holes, large holes
    • Firmness
  • Melting properties
    • No melt: softening without flow (frying cheese)
    • Stretching: Low melt and stretchable (Mozzarella)
    • Fondue: Medium melt, medium strechability (Raclette)
    • High melt: flows readily with little stretchability (aged Cheddar)

Table 3.1: Some properties of cheese categorized according to type of coagulation, and procedures for moisture and acidity control. Plus signs in column three indicate relative amounts

Varieties Coagulation Moisture in non-fat substance pH at 4-7 days Ca mM/Kg SNF Curing Time
Acid Coagulated Cottage, Quark, Cream Cheese, Chaource, Figaro Acid coagulation at pH 4.6-4.8 72-80%, aw 0.980-0.995. Controlled by cooking and washing treatments 4.3-4.8; Inhibition of culture by low pH, high temperature cooking or cooling, and/or washing 50-350 Consumed fresh, short shelf life
Heat-acid Coagulated Indian Paneer and Channa, Ricotta, Requeson. Useful as cooking cheese Heat denatured whey proteins are co-precipitated with caseins by acid. Whey proteins inhibit melting 75-84%. Increases with whey protein content, decreases with cooking after acidification 5.0-5.8; Due to the amount of acidulant added. 3-6% lactose in cheese due to absence of fermentation Normally consumed fresh, limited shelf life unless hot packed, pickled, or packed in sugar syrup
Unripened: Rennet Coagulated Some Latin American, Middle Eastern, and European varieties. Useful as cooking cheese Rennet++, Little or no culture, cutting near endogenous pH 60-80%, Controlled by cooking, stirring out, and draining conditions. Syneresis often occurs in the package 5.8-6.6; Little or no culture
-High pH prevents melting
Consumed fresh, high pH limits shelf life
Soft Ripened: High Acid Feta. Camembert, Blue Rennet+++, Culture+++, Ripening time+++, cutting at pH <6.5 60-70%, aw 0.96-0.99. Syneresis induced by acid development and by salting 4.5-4.8; Controlled by acid inhibition of culture, salting, and cooling. 400-600 2 - 8 weeks
Semi-hard Cheese: Washed Gouda, Edam, Colby, Havarti, Montasio, and many others Rennet++, Culture+, Ripening time++, Cutting at pH <6.6 55-65%, aw 0.95-0.97. Controlled by cooking, temperature of wash water, rate of acid development, curd handling, salting treatments 5.0-5.2; Controlled by washing to remove lactose and other treatments such as cooking, culture selection, and salting. 500-700 2 weeks - 9 months
Hard Cheese: Low Temperature Cheddar, Provolone Rennet++, Culture++, Ripening time++, Cutting at pH<6.6 52-60%, aw 0.94-0.96. Controlled by cooking, curd handling, rate of acid development, and salting Rate of acid development and moisture control determines residual lactose; draining pH is critical 500-700 1 - 24+ months
Hard Cheese: High Temperature Swiss types, Italian types (such as Parmesan) Rennet+, Culture+, Ripening+ (little or none for Swiss), Cutting at pH near 6.6 39-52%. Controlled mainly by high temperature cooking (52-55ºC) Acidity and moisture determine residual lactose; draining pH is critical 600-800 1 - 24+ months

Adapted from Hill (2007)

Table 3.2: Typical composition (% by weight) of some cheese varieties.

Type Cheese Moisture % Protein % Fat Total CHO FDM Ash Ca P Salt Retail pH
Acid Coagulated Cottage
Creamed cottage
Quark
Cream
Neufchatel
79.8
79.0
72.0
52.7
62.2
17.3
12.5
18.0
7.5
10.0
0.42
4.5
8.0
34.9
23.4
1.8
2.7
3.0
2.7
2.9
2.1
21.4
28.5
75.4
62.0
0.7
1.4

1.2
1.5

0.03
0.06
0.30
0.08
0.07
0.10
0.13
0.35
0.10
0.13
nil
1.0

0.73
0.75

5.0
5.0
4.5
4.6
4.6
Heat-Acid Coagulated Chhana
Frying cheese
Ricotta-3% fat milk
Ricotone - from whey & milk
53.0
55.0
72.2

82.5

17.0
19.7
11.2

11.3

25.0
20.4
12.7

0.5

2.0
3.0
3.0

1.5

53.2
44.8
45.7

2.9

3.0
<0.5

<0.5

5.4
5.9

5.8

Fresh Rennet Coagulated Queso Blanco
Queso de Freir
Italian fresh cheese
52.0
52.4
49.0
23.0
23.0
28.0
20.0
19.5
16.0
42.0
41.0
31.4
2.5
3.0
nil
5.8
5.8
6.5
Soft Ripened Camembert
Feta
Blue
Gorgonzola
51.8
55.2
42.0
36.0
19.8
14.2
21.0
26.0
24.3
21.3
29.0
32.0
0.5

2.3

50.3
47.5
50.0
50.0
3.7
5.2
5.1
5.0
0.39
0.49
0.53
0.35
0.34
0.39
2.1

3.5

6.9
4.4
6.5
Semi-hard Washed Colby
Gouda
Edam
Fontina
Havarti-Danish
Munster
40.0
41.5
41.4
42.8
43.5
41.8
25.0
25.0
25.0
24.2
24.7
23.4
31.0
27.4
27.8
25.5
26.5
30.0
2.0
2.2
1.4

1.1

51.7
46.9
47.6
44.6
46.9
51.6
3.4
3.9
4.2
3.3
2.8
3.7
0.68
0.70
0.73

0.72

0.46
0.55
0.54

0.47

0.65
0.82
0.96
1.2
2.2
1.8
5.3
5.8
5.7
5.6
5.9
6.2
Hard Cheese Low-Temp. Cheddar
Manchego-Spain
Provolone
Mozzarella
36.7
37.9
40.9
54.1
24.9
28.1
25.6
19.4
33.1
26.9
26.6
21.6
1.3

2.1
2.2

52.4
45.2
45.1
47.1
3.9
3.6
4.7
2.6
0.72

0.76
0.52

0.51

0.50
0.37

1.8
1.5
2.2
1.0
5.5
5.8
5.4
5.3
Hard Cheese High-Temp. Parmesan
Romano
Swiss
Kefalotyri
29.3
30.9
37.2
34.2
35.7
31.8
28.4
24.8
25.8
26.9
27.4
28.3
3.2
3.6
3.4
36.5
39.0
43.7
6.0
6.7
3.5
4.7
1.18
1.06
0.96
0.69
0.76
0.60
3.0
3.0
1.2
5.4
5.4
5.6
5.2

Adapted from Hill (2007)

 

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