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Introduction

Cheese is an ancient food whose origins predate recorded history. The word cheese comes
from Latin caseus from which the modern word casein is also derived. The earliest source is
from the proto-Indo-European root *kwat-, which means "to ferment, become sour". Most
authorities consider that cheese was first made in the Middle East as legendary told that
cheese was discovered by an unknown Arab nomad. Cheese is a food product made from the
curd obtained from the milk by coagulating the casein with the help of rennet or similar
enzymes in the presence of lactic acid produced by added or adventitious microorganisms
from which part of the moisture has been removed by cutting, cooking and pressing, which
has been shaped in mould, and then ripened by holding it for some time at suitable
temperature and humidity. It comprises proteins and fat from milk, usually the milk
of cows, buffalo, goats, or sheep. During production, the milk is usually acidified, and adding
the enzyme rennet causes coagulation. The solids are separated and pressed into final
form. Some cheeses have moulds on the rind or throughout. Most cheeses melt at cooking
temperature.
For a few cheeses, the milk is curdled by adding acids such as vinegar or lemon juice. Most
cheeses are acidified to a lesser degree by bacteria, which turn milk sugars into lactic acid,
then the addition of rennet completes the curdling. Vegetarian alternatives to rennet are
available; most are produced by fermentation of the fungus Mucor miehei, but others have
been extracted from various species of the Cynara thistle family. Cheesemakers near a dairy
region may benefit from fresher, lower-priced milk, and lower shipping costs.
Cheese is valued for its portability, long life, and high content of fat, protein, calcium,
and phosphorus. Cheese is more compact and has a longer shelf life than milk, although how
long a cheese will keep depends on the type of cheese; labels on packets of cheese often
claim that a cheese should be consumed within three to five days of opening. Generally
speaking, hard cheeses, such as parmesan last longer than soft cheeses, such as Brie or goat's
milk cheese. The long storage life of some cheeses, especially when encased in a protective
rind, allows selling when markets are favorable.

Types of cheese
There are many types of cheese, with around 500 different varieties recognized by the
International Dairy Federation, more than 400 identified by Walter and Hargrove, more than
500 by Burkhalter, and more than 1,000 by Sandine and Elliker. The varieties may be
grouped or classified into types according to criteria such as length of ageing, texture,
methods of making, fat content, animal milk, country or region of origin, etc. with these
criteria either being used singly or in combination, but with no single method being
universally used.
Moisture content (soft to hard)

Categorizing cheeses by firmness is a common but inexact practice. The lines between "soft",
"semi-soft", "semi-hard", and "hard" are arbitrary, and many types of cheese are made in
softer or firmer variations. The main factor that controls cheese hardness is moisture content,
which depends largely on the pressure with which it is packed into molds, and on aging time.
Soft-ripened cheese
Feta Cheese
Camembert Cheese
Blue Cheese
Semi-hard cheese
Cheedar cheese
Brine Brick
Colby
Montasio
Firm to hard cheese
Provolone
Cheddar
Romano
Swiss Cheese

Blue Cheese

Content (double cream, goat, ewe and water buffalo)


Some cheeses are categorized by the source of the milk used to produce them or by the added
fat content of the milk from which they are produced. While most of the world's
commercially available cheese is made from cows' milk, many parts of the world also
produce cheese from goats and sheep. Double cream cheeses are soft cheeses of cows' milk
enriched with cream so that their fat content is 60% or, in the case of triple creams, 75%. The
use of the terms "double" or "triple" is not meant to give a quantitative reference to the
change in fat content, since the fat content of whole cows' milk is 3%-4%.
Soft-ripened and blue-vein
There are at least three main categories of cheese in which the presence of mold is a
significant feature: soft ripened cheeses, washed rind cheeses and blue cheeses.
Processed cheeses
Processed cheese is made from traditional cheese and emulsifying salts, often with the
addition of milk, more salt, preservatives, and food coloring. It is inexpensive, consistent, and
melts smoothly. It is sold packaged and either pre-sliced or unsliced, in a number of varieties.
It is also available in aerosol cans in some countries.

Process of cheese making


There are six steps of cheese making:
1. Acidification
Acidifying is a souring process for cheese and act as starter culture to change lactose (milk
sugar) to lactic acid. This process changes the acidity level of the milk and begins the process
of turning milk from a liquid into a solid. Acidifying also helps to separate the curds and
whey and control the growth of undesirable bacteria in cheese. Usually special starter
bacteria are added to milk to start the cheese making process. These bacteria convert
the lactose (milk sugar) to lactic acid and lower the milks pH. There are two types of bacteria
used for this process:

Mesophilic bacteria thrive at room temperature but die at higher temperatures. They

are used to make mellow cheeses, such as Cheddar, Gouda and Colby.
Thermophilic bacteria thrive at higher temperatures, around 55 C, and are used to
make sharper cheeses such as Gruyre, Parmesan and Romano.

2. Coagulation
After acidification, the next step in making cheese is coagulation. Coagulation of milk is the
first step towards concentration of milks casein and fat and expulsion of whey made up of
water and milks soluble components. The process of coagulation occurs through two
different mechanisms, primarily acid coagulation and primarily enzyme coagulation. Each
method results in two very different families of cheese. To be literally correct, rennet is the
historical name of the product from animals, but in cheese making rennet is the generic term
for all types of enzymes, whether of animal, plant, microbial or fermentation origin, that are
used to coagulate milk.
The most common method is enzyme or rennet coagulation as it produces a lower moisture
content and longer shelf life curd without excessive hardening. Virtually all hard cheese are
made using rennet coagulation as rennet solidify the milk. Rennet is very concentrated, so
adding it directly to the milk would cause it to set the milk in just that area and not in the
overall milk. Even if one stirred it after adding directly, it would still coagulate in areas
resulting in a poor curd formation. Therefore the common method of adding rennet is to first

dilute / dissolve in cool non-chlorinated water before adding to the milk. Dilution amounts
are discussed in the Animal Based Rennet webpage.
Best practices for rennet preparation and addition are:
i.

When ready to add rennet, dilute or dissolve rennet in cool un-chlorinated


water. Chlorine is a strong oxidizing agent and rapidly destroys the rennet

ii.

enzymes.
Trickle the diluted rennet into the milk while stirring the milk with a skimmer
for a maximum of 60 seconds in an up and down method without breaking to
surface (no splashing). Do not dilute rennet in advance of adding to milk as its

iii.

strength deteriorates when diluted.


Stop the swirling of milk after stirring with skimmer to enable better
coagulation.

3. Curds and Whey


Milk curdles solid forms and leaves a pale coloured liquid. The solid is curd and liquid is the
whey. Curds are formed by adding rennet or an acidic liquid like lemon juice or vinegar to
milk. The acid forces the proteins in milk to group together forming solid masses. When
proteins behave like this, it is called coagulation. This is the curdling process that leads the
formation of curds, the solid masses. The liquid remaining contains whey proteins. When the
whey is drained away leaving the curds which can be washed, these curds are what cottage
cheese consists of. Regardless, if the curds are to be aged, they are then put into molds. Here,
they are pressed to give the proper shape and size.

4.

Salting

Then, salt is added into the curd directly as the cheese is being made. Salt added the flavor
and also acts as a preservative so the cheese does not spoil during long months or years of
aging also helps a natural rind to form on the cheese. The cheese can also be bathed directly
in vat of brine. Salt is important in cheese making because it helps to dry the curds during

draining by controlling moisture and causing the curds to shrink, it is essential in the
development of a good rind, and will help to kill bacteria and other harmful growth when
used as a brine.

5.

Shaping

The cheese then put into the exact mold or a basket to form the shape that is look like a
cheese. During this process, these cheese is pressed with weights or machine to remove it
excess liquid.

6. Ripening
Ripening is the process ages cheese until it reaches optimal ripeness. During this process, the
temperature and humidity of the cave or room where the cheese ages is closely monitored. An
experienced affineur knows how to properly treat each cheese so it develops the proper flavor
and texture. For some cheeses, ambient molds in the air give the cheese a distinct flavor. For
others, mold is introduced by spraying it on the cheese (brie) or injecting it into the cheese
(blue cheese). Some cheeses must be turned, some must be brushed with oil, and some must
be washed with brine or alcohol.

Process of cheese making

HOW DOES THE CHEESE LAST LONG

Among the cheese hard cheese will last the longest, but even semi-hard cheeses will
last beyond their "best-by" date for the times listed in the table below. Cheese consists of the
proteins and fat from milk and is produced throughout the world in hundreds of flavors,
textures, and forms.
Some common hard cheeses include Parmesan, Romano, Asiago, Buffalo and Pecorino
cheese. These cheeses have been cooked, pressed and aged making them good for grating.
Some common semi-hard cheeses include Cheddar, Swiss, Gouda, and Provolone cheese.
These cheeses have been cooked and pressed, but have not been aged so they contain more
moisture. All cheeses are valued for their high content of fat, protein, calcium, and
phosphorus while hard and semi-hard varieties enjoy added value for their compacted flavor
and longer shelf life.
The shelf life of hard cheese is influenced by a variety of factors, such as the type of
cheese, the processing method and packaging date, its exposure to heat, how the cheese is
stored and the best by date or sell by date.

Hard Cheese Expiration Date

Nutritional Value

(Unopened)

Fridge

Freezer

Past Printed Date Past Printed Date


Hard Cheese (Parmesan, Asiago, Romano) lasts for

2-4 Months

6-8 Months

Shredded Hard Cheese lasts for

1-2 Months

6-8 Months

Semi-Hard Cheese Chunk (Cheddar, Swiss) lasts for

1-2 Months

6-8 Months

Sliced Semi-Hard Cheese lasts for

1 Month

6-8 Months

(Opened)

Refrigerator

Freezer

Hard Cheese Chunk (Parmesan, Asiago, Romano) lasts for

3-6 Weeks

6-8 Months

Shredded Hard Cheese lasts for

3-4 Weeks

6-8 Months

Semi-Hard Cheese Chunk lasts for

3-6 Weeks

6-8 Months

Sliced Semi-Hard Cheese lasts for

2 Weeks

6-8 Months

The nutritional value of cheese varies widely. Cottage cheese may consist of 4% fat and 11%
protein while some whey cheeses are 15% fat and 11% protein, and triple-crme cheeses are
36% fat and 7% protein. In general, cheese is a rich source (20% or more of the Daily Value,
DV)

of calcium, protein, phosphorus, sodium and saturated

fat.

A 28-gram

(0.99 oz)

(one ounce) serving of cheddar cheese contains about 7 grams (0.25 oz) of protein and 202
milligrams of calcium. Nutritionally, cheese is essentially concentrated milk: it takes about
200 grams (7.1 oz) of milk to provide that much protein, and 150 grams (5.3 oz) to equal the
calcium.

MacroNutrients (grams) of common cheeses per 100gm

Cheese

Water

Protein

Fat

Carbs

Swiss

37.1

26.9

27.8

5.4

Feta

55.2

14.2

21.3

4.1

MacroNutrients (grams) of common cheeses per 100gm

Cheese

Water

Protein

Fat

Carbs

Cheddar

36.8

24.9

33.1

1.3

Mozarella

50

22.2

22.4

2.2

Cottage

80

11.1

4.3

3.4

Vitamin contents in %DV of common cheeses per 100gm

Chees
e

B
1

B
2

B
3

B
5

B
6

B
9

B1
2

C
h.

Swiss

17

17

56

2.8

11

Feta

10

50

10

21

28

2.2

Cheddar

20

22

14

Mozzarel
la

14

17

38

2.8

Cottage

10

3.3

Mineral contents in %DV of common cheeses per 100 grams

Cheese

Ca

Fe

Mg

Na

Zn

Cu

Mn

Se

Swiss

79

10

57

29

26

Feta

49

34

46

19

21

Mineral contents in %DV of common cheeses per 100 grams

Cheese

Ca

Fe

Mg

Na

Zn

Cu

Mn

Se

Cheddar

72

51

26

21

20

Mozzarella

51

35

26

19

24

Cottage

16

15

14

Ch. = Choline; Ca = Calcium; Fe = Iron; Mg = Magnesium; P = Phosphorus; K = Potassium;


Na = Sodium; Zn = Zinc; Cu = Copper; Mn = Manganese; Se = Selenium;

REFFERENCES

Books
-Brown, Bob. The Complete Book of Cheese. Gramercy Publishing, 1955.
-Carr, Sandy. The Simon and Schuster Pocket Guide to Cheese. Simon and Schuster, 1981.
-Kosikowski, Frank. Cheese and Fermented Milk Foods. Cornell University, 1966.
-Mills, Sonya. The World Guide to Cheese. Gallery Books, 1988.
-Timperley, Carol and Cecilia Norman. A Gourmet's Guide to Cheese. HP Books, 1989.
Periodicals
"American Cheese and 'Cheeses'," Consumer Reports. November, 1990, pp. 728-732.
Birmingham, David. "Gruyere's Cheese-makers," History Today. February, 1991, pp. 21-26.
Raichlen, Steven. "Farmhouse Cheeses," Yankee. February, 1991, pp. 84-92.
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