Domain Two: Cheesemaking Processes

Domain Two: Cheesemaking 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 controllability 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 cheesemaking process for specific cheese types. This would include the ability to explain the differences between artisanal cheesemaking and cheese produced by larger manufacturers. According to the American Cheese Society, “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.”

 

GENERAL INFORMATION

  • Montville, T.J., and K.R. Matthews: “food microbiology an introduction.” American Society for Microbiology Press, 2005.

 

ACCEPTING MILK

1. TRANSPORTATION AND STORAGE OF MILK FOR CHEESEMAKING

2. MILK TESTING

 

HANDLING OF MILK BEFORE COAGULATION

1. VAT TYPES AND OPERATIONS

2. HEAT TREATMENTS

3. SEASONAL ADJUSTMENTS OF MILK IN VAT

4. MANAGING YIELD AND STANDARDIZING

5. HOMOGENIZATION

  • Mingkai Cao, Leorges M. Fonseca, Tonya C. Schoenfuss, and Scott A. Rankin. Homogenization and Lipase Treatment of Milk and Resulting Methyl Ketone Generation in Blue Cheese. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry 2014 62 (25), 5726-5733 . http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/jf4048786

 

SETTING THE MILK FOR CHEESEMAKING

1. STARTER PREPARATION

2. COAGULANT BEST PRACTICES AND USAGE

 

CUTTING OR BREAKING CURD

1. USING CHEESEMAKING TOOLS

2. DETERMINING OPTIMAL TIME TO CUT CURD

 

CONCENTRATING CURD SOLIDS

1. ACHIEVING CORRECT MOISTURE LEVEL IN CHEESE BODY

 

SEPARATING CURDS AND WHEY

1. MANUAL AND MECHANICAL SEPARATION OPTIONS AND TOOLS

2. EFFECTS OF ACIDITY AT WHEY DRAIN ON CHEESE

 

FORMING A CURD MASS

1. TOOLS AND BEST PRACTICES FOR FUSING CURDS

2. FORMING A UNIFORM CURD MASS/WHEEL

 

ADDING SALT TO CHEESE

1. FACTORS THAT INFLUENCE SALT UPTAKE

2. ROLE OF SALT IN CHEESEMAKING

3. OPTIONS AND BEST PRACTICES FOR ADDING SALT

4. MANAGING A BRINE SYSTEM

 

CHEESE FINISHING BEFORE AGING

1. HANDLING CHEESE AFTER MANUFACTURING

2. EARLY RIND MANAGEMENT (PROCESS-DRIVEN)

3. OPTIONS AND MATERIALS FOR CHEESE RIND PROTECTION (MATERIAL-DRIVEN)

4. EFFECT OF pH ON CHEESE

 

TOOLS AND EQUIPMENT

1. MOLDS

2. TABLES