Secrets of cheese manufacturing

The main aim of Irish cheese manufactorers now is the broadening of the product base of the Dairy industry. It means producing a range of cheese types in addition to the traditional mainline products such as Cheddar, Mozzarella, Emmenthal and Regato. And what is more, physicists from Morocco and France contributed to better cheese manufacturing and developed new, more sensitive, way of deciding when cheese curd is ready to be cut from the whey.

Cheese manufacturing became an important part of food industry. That's why many researches are made by scientists all over the world in order to advance cheese making technology. Not long ago was discovered more sensitive way of deciding when cheese curd is ready to be cut from the whey. It was published in the Institute of Physics journal Measurement Science and Technology.

New technique could make significant savings by reducing waste and simultaneously obtaining more consistent high quality cheese. The research was made by professors from the University Ibn Zohr in Morocco and Le Havre in France. Most cheeses are made by coagulating milk. It happens thanks to adding the enzyme rennet, which turns milk from fluid to solid. The enzymes break down the main protein in milk, casein, then the curd aggregates and gels. To get cheese of better quality it should be obtained by cutting the curd to expel the whey at a given amount of time after the clotting point. An accurate determination of the coagulation time is very important for finding an ideal time for cutting the curd.

The researchers developed new method of finding the coagulation time of milk. Earlier electrical, thermal and optical systems were used. The new method based on ultrasound - very high frequency sound waves, and is known as the ultrasonic pulse echo technique. This method investigates the coagulation of milk by finding the velocity of ultrasonic waves in the milky substance. The Institute of Physics in Great Britain and Ireland is active in providing support for physicists in all professions and careers, encouraging physics research and its applications, providing support for physics in schools, colleges and universities, influencing government and informing public debate.

Great experiment in cheese production took place in Ireland. There was established of new technology for selected types of continental and specialty cheese manufacturing. They tried to repeat New Zealand's model for cheese manufacturing.The objectives in the project were the development of the science and technology for speciality cheese manufacture, identification and overcoming of the technical constraints to the manufacture of soft speciality cheeses in Ireland. A knowledge and skills base, together with a plant/process and technology-transfer infrastructure, has been generated for a wide range of speciality cheese types which had not previously existed and is available as an important part of an overall diversification strategy for the Irish Dairy industry. Taken cheese varieties included: mould types e.g.Blue and Blue-Brie; smear types e.g. St-Paulin and Havarti; hybrids of Cheddar, Swiss and Gouda; hard grating types e.g.Parmesan and Asiago; and high acid types e.g. Caerphilly and Wensleydale. The New Zealand model for cheese diversification which has been highly successful, is typified by two companies - Ferndale Dairies, and Kapiti Cheese Company. In both companies, the advantage of producing a range of speciality cheeses is fairly obvious in that a single new variety of cheese will not have an instant impact. Ireland has a tradition only in the cheese manufacturing of hard and semi-hard cheese types. Lack of a knowledge and skills base in the manufacture of speciality cheeses is however a major constraint to diversification. The Farmhouse cheese sector in Ireland has developed a number of soft speciality type cheeses. However, production has not yet developed to significant industrial scale. For cheese manufacturing in Ireland were chosen two cheeses. They are: Gorgonzola (Italy) and Tallegio (Italy). Gorgonzola is an example of an internal Blue mould ripened cheese. Other examples of this cheese type are: Danish Blue, Cashel Blue, Stilton. Tallegio is an example of a bacterial surface ripened (smear-ripened) cheese. Other examples of this type are: St-Paulin, Gubbeen, Ardrahan, Limburger, Port-Salut, Reblochon. For development were taken a smear-ripened St-Paulin type cheese. A cheese similar to this was brought to industrial production by Avonmore plc. The second was a Blue-Brie type cheese brought to semi-industrial scale in UCC. Commercial production of these cheeses was not successful either because of technical or market difficulties. Trials were carried out to develop a number of hybrid cheese types with variations in starter culture blends, cooking temperatures, salt levels. Research indicated some promising avenues for further hybrid development and this provided the basis and direction for a hybrid cheese manufacturing. Cheese manufacturing in Ireland now is very successful, and using of the New Zealand model of cheese production brought expected results.

This artilce has been viewed: 0 times this month, and 39 times in total since published.