Manufactured Products Cheese

Cheese making is based on the coagulation of casein from milk or, to a minor extent, of the proteins of whey. Casein is precipitated by acidification, which can be accomplished by adding bacteria that will produce lactic acid from lactose in milk. The procedures for making cheese vary greatly, and cheese products are countless.

Considerable art is involved in making the 400-plus existing cheese varieties. The composition and handling of the original milk, bacterial flora, and starter culture are the basic variables that along with heat treatments, flavoring, salting, and forming of the final product affect the final product. The composition of various cheeses is given in Table 4. Low-fat varieties can have higher moisture levels.

Cheddar Cheese. Pasteurized milk is inoculated with a lactic acid culture and rennet to coagulate casein. The coagulated milk is cut into cubes and cooked to remove whey. Whey is drained out, and the curd cubes are allowed to knit closely together by the cheddaring process. At the end of the cheddaring process, the curd is milled into smaller cubes and salted. The salted cheese is pressed overnight for further whey removal and aged up to a year for flavor development.

Cottage Cheese. Cottage cheese is made from skim milk. Compared to most other cheeses, cottage cheese has a short shelf life and must be refrigerated usually at 4.4°C or below to maintain quality and to provide a shelf life of 3 to 4 weeks. Cottage cheese is a soft, uncured cheese that contains not more than 80% moisture.

Cottage cheese is made by several procedures. In general, pasteurized skim milk is inoculated with lactic acid culture to coagulate the protein. A small amount of rennet may be added to firm the curd. The coagulated material is divided or cut, and the resulting curd is cooked to remove the whey. The whey is drained, and the curd is washed with water. Washed curd is mixed with cream. Mechanized operations are used for large-scale production.

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