The fundamentals of creating cheese

The fundamentals of creating cheese

Since the beginning of human domestication of animals, cheese has been produced in its most basic forms. No one is certain who created the first cheese, although one old myth holds that an Arabian trader crossing the desert manufactured it by mistake. The businessman madly placed his drinking milk in a bag.

The fundamentals of creating cheese


Fresh fluid milk is used to make cheese by eliminating the majority of the water while keeping the majority of the solids. Cheese manufacturing, which involves the fermentation of milk, may also be seen as a method of food preservation because storage life rises as water content decreases.

Milk must be prepared and inoculated with bacteria that produce lactic acid before curdling, cutting, and shrinking the curd (by heating), draining or dipping the whey, salting, pressing, and ripening. These processes are all necessary for the fermentation of milk into finished cheese. Four fundamental ingredients—milk, bacteria, rennet, and salt—form the basis of these procedures.

Curdling and immunization

The best milk possible must be used to make cheese. Because unwanted species known as psychrophilic are typically found in milk’s natural microflora, maintaining proper farm cleanliness and pasteurization or partial heat treatment are essential steps in the cheese-making process. The milk must also be devoid of anything that might prevent the growth of microorganisms that produce acid (e.g., antibiotics and sanitizing agents). Pasteurization of milk is frequently used to get rid of bacteria-caused deterioration and flaws as well as harmful germs. But unlike most cheese made from raw or mildly heated milk, cheese made from pasteurized milk ripens more slowly and to a lesser extent. This is because pasteurization kills the natural enzymes present in milk.

The anaerobic conversion of lactose to lactic acid is carried out by the bacteria that ferment food. Depending on the cheese variety and the manufacturing technique, several types of organisms are employed. An enzymatic preparation called rennet is often made from the fourth stomach of calves. Rennin and pepsin are two of the proteolytic (protein-degrading) enzymes found in them. Some cheeses, including cottage cheese and cream cheese, are made only by the process of acid coagulation. Curdling, or coagulation, is the process by which the milk protein casein congregates and precipitates out of solution in the presence of lactic acid, rennet, or both.


The starting culture organisms’ lactic acid serves a variety of uses. It facilitates rennet-induced curd formation, causes the curd to shrink, improves whey drainage (syneresis), and inhibits the growth of unfavorable bacteria during cheesemaking and ripening. Acid also encourages the fusing of the curd into a solid mass and influences the resulting curd’s flexibility. The development of flavor during ripening is also influenced by the enzymes secreted by the bacterial cells.

Typically, salt is added to the curd. Along with improving flavor, it aids in separating the whey from the curd and stops harmful germs from proliferating.

Different types of cheese

There are hundreds of different types of cheese produced across the world as a consequence of the various combinations of milk, cultures, enzymes, molds, and technological procedures. The numerous forms of cheese may be categorized in a variety of ways, but the hardest or ripest technique is usually the most useful. Based on these standards, the table categorizes several cheese kinds.

Processed cheese pasteurized

Some natural cheese is transformed into processed cheese, a food in which heat prevents the cheese from fully ripening. The result has an endless shelf life. The majority of processed cheese is utilized in restaurants and other settings where convenient, consistent melting is necessary.

Natural cheese is ground and combined with other components, such as water, emulsifying agents, coloring, fruits, vegetables, or meat, to create pasteurized processed cheese. The mixture is then churned into a homogenous, plastic mass at temperatures of 74 °C (165 °F). Process cheese meals, spreads, and products differ from processed cheese in that they could include more water as well as other ingredients such as nonfat dry milk, cheese whey, and whey protein concentrates.

The most common type of cheddar processed is American. However, other cheeses are similarly prepared, including washed-curd, Colby, Swiss, Gruyere, and Limburger.

In a small variant, cold pack or club cheese is created by combining and grinding a few different kinds of cheese without using any heat. There may be other flavors or ingredients in this cheese dish.


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