Thursday, September 06, 2018

Aging process of cheese

In its final stage of production, cheese is set out in a controlled environment to age The cheese is stored in a place of proper temperature and humidity for aging also known as ripening. Some cheeses are aged for a month and some are aged for several years. The length of the aging period in the plant was determined by expert elicitation.

Cheesemakers manage its temperature, humidity, and bacteria population. During the aging process, the starter bacteria again become active as they break the casein protein and milkfat into fatty acids, amines, and amino acids.

The degree of protein decomposition significantly affects the quality (consistency and taste) of the cheese. It is during this process that Swiss cheese gains its signature holey appearance, as its bacteria produce carbon dioxide gas bubbles.

Biochemical changes in cheese during aging may be grouped into primary (lipolysis, proteolysis and metabolism of residual lactose and of lactate and citrate) or secondary (metabolism of fatty acids and of amino acids) events. Residual lactose is metabolized rapidly to lactate during the early stages of aging.

Additional bacteria are often introduced (either applied directly to the cheese or made present in the air) to further manipulate the cheese╩╝s final taste and consistency.
Aging process of cheese
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