Accelerated Cheese Ripening

One of the major costs of cheese is the expense of curing time before desired flavor develops. While some maturation time is inevitable, there are systems available where ripening time is shortened by speeding up proteolysis and lipolysis to generate flavor and modify texture. Elevated temperature (13°C or higher) curing offers the simplest approach to speed up ripening of otherwise normal cheese. Cheese intended for this type of curing must not contain measurable levels of heterofermentative lactobacilli or leu-conostocs, because an open-texture defect and off-flavors will develop (26).

Microbial proteinases and gastric esterases have been used with little success to achieve acceptable cheese with uniformity. Activity of these exogenous enzymes is unregulated and may contribute to the detriment of cheese quality. Several unproven systems are available from culture houses.

Additions of partially inactivated starter organisms have been used with mixed results. Presently, this is not economical. Most of the proprietary systems investigated cause a minor to major deviation from characteristic flavor, body, and texture of cheese,

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