Domain Two: Cheese Making Processes

Cheesemakers follow a recipe. Cheesemaking is an age old process and still retains aspects of an art even when made in the most modern plants. Cheesemakers must thoroughly master and understand the highly technical and scientific processes involved, but they must also have the touch and sensitivity of an artist. This is due to the natural variation inherent in the milk and the imperfect controlability of the microorganisms present in the milk.

The basic cheese types evolved as products of different types of milk, regional environmental conditions, accidents, and gradual improvements by trial and error. There are thousands of different cheeses but basically they are variations of about 18 distinct types of natural cheeses reflecting the process by which they are made.

Any cheese professional should have the ability to describe the basic cheese making process for specific cheese types. This would include the ability to explain the differences between artisanal cheese making and cheese produced by larger manufacturers. According to the American Cheese Society, the word “artisan or artisanal implies that a cheese is produced primarily by hand, in small batches, with particular attention paid to the tradition of the cheesemaker’ s art, and thus using as little mechanization as possible in the production of the cheese. Artisan, or artisanal, cheeses may be made from all types of milk and may include various flavorings.”

Link to this site for article and diagram on cheesemaking

http://distribution-plus.com/domestic-cheese/how-cheese-is-made/

 

I.  Basic Cheese Types, according to make processes

(Please cross reference  Domain Four,
Cheese Types and Categories)

A. Fresh-Unripened-Mascarpone, Cream Cheese, Neufchatel, Ricotta, Impastata, Quark, Fromage Blanc

  1. Low fat
  2. High fat

B. Soft Ripened-White surface mold ripened cheeses

C. Semisoft

  1. Ripened principally by bacteria
  2. Ripened by bacteria and surface microorganisms
  3. Ripened principally by blue mold in interior

D. Hard

  1. Ripened by bacteria- without eyes
  2. Ripened by bacteria- with eyes

E. Very Hard-Grating

  1. Ripened by bacteria

F. Process Cheeses

  1. Pasteurized, cold pack

G. Whey Cheeses

*Classifications of Cheeses, Sanders 1953, Food Science Potter and Hotchkiss

 

II. Cheese Make Process Records

In cheesemaking, a record is kept of every step of the way, which is called a make sheet.  It is the steps of the recipe and the record of the particular batch.

 

III. Make Process Steps (handmade cheese)

A. Cheese yield basics

B. Legal compositional requirements for different cheese varieties may differ by country

C. Milk handling practices at the creamery

  1. Unloading of milk at the creamery
  2. Milk Testing
  3. Milk Storage
  4. Milk moving equipment
  5. Vat types
    1. Open vats
    2. Double o style vats
    3. Horizontal vats
  6. Milk heat treatments
    1. Raw milk – no heating before you begin to make the recipe (in US, cheese must be aged for 60 days).
      Cheese Types and Categories)
      Please cross reference  Domain One,
      Raw Materials for Cheesemaking.)
    2. Heat Treated milk
      1. 65° degrees C inactivates some coliforms still keeping the lipase enzymes intact
      2. 71.7° degrees C will destroy pathogenic bacteria
      3. Cheese must be aged for 60 days
    3. Pasteurized milk
      1. i. Heat to 62.8° degrees C for at least 30 minutes or
      2. ii. 71.1° degrees C for 15 seconds
  7. Other adjustment of the milks used for the cheese
    1. To compensate for the seasonality of the milk
    2. For economic reasons cheeses retain different fat standards
    3. To satisfy demand for reduced fat cheeses
    4. Blended milks and creams
    5. Recombination of milk
    6. Homogenization of the milk used

D. Setting of the milk

  1. Prepare milk for acid or rennet curd formation
  2. Incorporation of suitable microbial cultures

E. Cutting or breaking curd

  1. Speed whey expulsion and assist in uniform cook through of the curd by increasing the surface area
  2. Stirring curds

F. Cooking curds

  1. Contract curds for more effective removal of whey, develop texture and establish moisture control

G. Draining or dipping

  1. Permanently separating the whey from the curds

H. Curd Knitting – hooping

  1. Transform curd into characteristic texture of cheese desired
  2. Give time for acid development
  3. Aid in moisture control

I. Salting

  1. Influence flavor, moisture and texture
    1. Dry salting
    2. Brine salting

J. Pressing

  1. Shape the cheese and close up the body

K. Special applications

  1. Incorporate characteristic microorganisms for the specific cheese types and establish the proper environment for their growth

L. At every step above a pH or acid titration is taken

  1. A curve is developed for every type of cheese and this is how with time and temperature you reach as consistent a cheese as possible

 

IV. Make Process Steps (Industrial)

A. Cheese yield basics

B. Legal compositional requirements for different cheese varieties

C. Milk and curd handling practices

  1. Unloading of milk at the plant
  2. Milk clarification
  3. Milk storage
  4. Standardization and fortification practices
    1. Cream removal
    2. Cream addition
    3. Skim solids addition
    4. Ultra filtered milk addition
    5. Nonfat dry milk addition
  5. Advantages and disadvantages of standardization/fortification practices/potential cheese defects

D.  Partitioning of milk solids during cheesemaking

  1. Advantages and disadvantages of mechanization (curd cutting; cooking, pre-draw, water dilution, stir out, curd transfer)

E. Vat types

  1. Open vats
  2. Double O style vats
  3. Horizontal vats
  4. Operation and advantages/disadvantages

F. Table/belt types (whey removal, acid development, curd body development, fines, moisture control, and pH/acidity control)

  1. Open tables
  2. Enclosed finishing tables
  3. Matting conveyors
  4. Salting conveyors

G. Block/wheel formation

  1. 40# blocks
  2. Cheddaring towers
  3. 640 blocks
  4. Wheel formation

H. Pasta filata cheeses

  1. Cooker stretchers
  2. Loaf molders
  3. Specialty molders
  4. String extruders

I. Salting of cheeses

  1. Dry salting of curd
    1. Functions of dry salting in cheese
    2. Hand salting
    3. Automatic salting
    4. Best practices for dry salting of curd
  2. Brine salting of curd
    1. Basic concepts of cheese brining
    2. Making a salt brine
    3. Brine strength measurement
    4. Factors affects salt uptake in brines
    5. Brine systems
      1. Static brine
      2. Pit brine
      3. Channel brine
      4. Serpentine brine
      5. Best practices for salt brine maintenance

J. Pressing

  1. Shape the cheese and close up the body

K. Special applications

  1. Incorporate characteristic  microorganisms for the specific cheese types                and establish the proper environment for their growth.

L. At every step above a pH or acid titration is taken

  1. A curve is developed for every type of cheese

The next step is to begin the aging process whether it is a few days or a few months.
Please cross reference Domain Three, Cheese Ripening (Affinage)

 

V. Individual cheese varieties

A. Fresh-Unripened-Mascarpone, Cream Cheese, Neufchatel, Ricotta, Impastata, Quark,      Fromage Blanc

  1. Low fat
  2. High fat

B. Soft Ripened-White surface mold ripened cheeses

C. Semisoft

  1. Ripened principally by bacteria
  2. Ripened by bacteria and surface microorganisms
  3. Ripened principally by blue mold in interior

D. Hard

  • Ripened by bacteria- without eyes
  • Ripened by bacteria- with eyes

E. Very Hard-Grating

  1. Ripened by bacteria

F. Process Cheeses

  1. Pasteurized, cold pack

G. Whey Cheeses

*Classifications of cheeses, Sanders 1953, Food Science Norman N. Potter and Joseph H. Hotchkiss