Wednesday, March 24, 2021

Production of cheddar cheese

The manufacture of rennet-coagulated cheeses, such as Cheddar, can be divided into two more or less distinct phases:
(1) conversion of milk to curd, which is essentially complete within 24 h; and
(2) ripening of the curd

Cheddar cheese can be made both from raw or heat-treated milk. To manufacture Cheddar cheese with consistent quality, good quality and clean-tasting milk that has relatively low microbial count is needed. Cheddar curd manufacture commences with the selection and pretreatment of milk of high microbiological and chemical quality.

Cheddar from raw milk develops cheddar flavor soon whereas cheddar from pasteurized milk takes comparatively double time to reach to cheddar characteristics flavor.

Starter culture
Lactococcuslactis ssp. lactis, and Lactococcus lactis ssp cremoris. The first strain is more heat resistant but also tends to produce bitter peptides while the other strain is not so heat resistant and during scalding is not multiplying and is not producing bitter peptides. The species of lactobacilli involved in faster ripening.

Rennet is a general term for proteinase used to coagulate milk. The enzymes used for milk coagulation eliminate the caseino- macropeptide ‘hairs’ from kcasein and there by paracasein micelles start to aggregate. The role of the acid produced by lactic acid bacteria is to dissolve the calcium phosphate from the micelles and the electric charge is neutralized.

Acid production affects almost all facets of cheese manufacture and, hence, cheese composition, texture, and flavor. The amount of acid has a marked effect on the level of proteolysis and other reactions in the resulting cheese.

The coagulum is then cut into small cube-shaped particles (approximately 9 mm x 9 mm) and the temperature of the vat is increased to the desired cooking temperature (38°¬C). Cutting the curd into small pieces gives faster (initial) syneresis which is proportional to the area of the surface exhibiting syneresis.

Very important for the cheese yield is the moment of cutting the gel. When the gel is weak it has the syneresis is not pronounced and fat and protein are lost with the way. If the gel is too hard, the curd is broken and also the fat and protein are lost. For Cheddar cheese the cut size is relatively small 5-10 mm, typical for hard cheeses.

The curd in the whey is continuously stirred until sufficient acid has been produced and whey is separated from the curd.

Cheddaring is one of the unique steps in making cheddar type cheese. In which blocks of curds are piled on top of each other to expel moisture. It is periodically turned to flow again. The pH of the curd falls during this process and whey continues to exude. Then the curds are milled and grounded in to small pieces, molded and pressed to give a crumbly texture to the final cheese.

The particles lose their identity and start to bond together under the influence of further development of acidity. During this stage, the moisture content of the curd drops from 55 to approximately 42%.

The curd is cut into strips about the size of a finger. The milling process facilitates uniform salt distribution into the curds and promotes whey drainage from the curds.

The last manufacturing operation is salting. Salting is performed in Cheddar by mixing dry salt with broken or milled curd at the end of manufacture.

The salt retards the growth of lactic acid bacteria. Salting is performed in cheddar cheese making by mixing dry salt with broken or milled curd at the end of manufacture.

Pressing – Waxing/Packaging – Curing
Many cheeses are made and matured in large blocks (e.g. 20 kg) and they are exported as such. When they are to be sold in supermarkets, they are usually cut into appropriate size blocks and either shrink wrapped in an atmosphere of carbon dioxide, which dissolves into the body of the cheese, or vacuum sealed in a special "top-and-bottom" "webbed" package.
Production of cheddar cheese

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