Tuesday, November 07, 2017

Feta cheese traditional method processing

Feta cheese belongs to the co-called ‘white pickled’ group of cheeses. It requires simple equipment for its manufacture and it keeps well.

Traditional Feta cheese is produced mainly in the mountainous regions of Greece from mixture of sheep’s milk and cow’s and/or goat’s milk. It is a table cheese, a favored ingredient in salads and pastries.

The milk is heated to 32-34 ° C and traditional rennet extract from lamb’s /kid’s abomasa is added to give a coagulum ready for cutting after 50 min. Rennet mixed is at 120 ml/1000g milk.

Coagulation process is essential for the development of a uniformed gel and finally Feta with firm texture. The coagulum is the cut into 2 -3 cm cubes, left for 5-10 min in whey, and then transferred gradually into circular molds, placed on an inclined table, and turned occasionally. This facilitates whey drainage.

The curd is stored overnight in a room maintained at 18 ° C and 85% relative humidity. At this temperature and RH a product of better texture and flavor is produced. The curd should achieve pH of 4.7 in about 24 hours

When the curd is firm enough, it is then removed from the molds, cut into slices and rubbed or sprinkled them with granulated salt. The cheeses are left until a slimy layer has formed within 1 to 2 weeks; then the surfaces are cleaned and the cheeses placed into barrels, leaving no space between slices.

Brine of 6-8% NCL is added and the barrels are closed. The cheese slices remain in ripening rooms until their pH reaches 4.4-4.6 and then transferred to cold stores at 3-4 C. Maturations of Feta cheese actually begins before the curd making is finished and can be separated into two phases. The first one takes place simultaneously with dry salting in the ripening plants, at 18 ° C while the second one occurs during the storage of Feta in refrigeration.

Usually formed in square-shape blocks, Feta cheese has a somewhat grainy consistency (and is therefore crumbly), usually is white and has tangy and salty flavor.

Feta cheese can only be produced under strict product specifications in certain areas of Greece. Feta is registered as a Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) product.
Feta cheese traditional method processing
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