Chemical species in cheese and their origin in milk components

Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology
A R Hill


Cheese making is the process of concentrating milk fat and protein by separation from water and soluble components. The objective of the cheese maker is to maximize yield efficiency by optimum utilization of each milk component while not compromising cheese quality. Cheese yielding potential of milk may be increased by selective breeding for specific protein genotypes, especially the BB variant of both kappa-casein and beta-lactoglobulin. Milk fat is included in cheese by occlusion into the protein coagulum. Participation of casein in both lactic and rennet coagulation is nearly complete so that casein losses to the whey occur mainly during cutting and the early stages of cooking. In lactic cheese, excepting cottage cheese, it is possible to eliminate losses of fines by centrifugal or membrane separation of curd. In heat-acid precipitated varieties protein recovery is increased by inclusion of whey proteins but fat recovery is very dependent on coagulation conditions. In ripened cheese obtaining the correct basic structure and composition is critical to texture and flavour development during curing.

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