Cheese Families

The objectives of cheese making are: (1) To obtain the optimum cheese composition with respect to moisture, acidity (pH), fat, protein and minerals (especially calcium); (2) Establish the correct structure of the cheese at the microscopic level; and (3) Ripen to perfection. Objectives (1) and (2) are achieved by varying initial make procedures and it is then possible to achieve objective (3). Most of these variations in initial make procedures are different means to control the rate and extent of acid development, and the rate and extent of moisture release. Grouped according to texture and basic manufacturing procedures, seven cheese families are described below and summarized in Table 1.1. Table 1.2 contains composition data for some common cheese varieties.

 

Table 1.1: Some properties of cheese categorized according to type of coagulation and procedures used for pH and moisture control. Adapted from Hill (2007). Plus signs in column three indicate relative amounts.

 

Varieties

Coagulation

Moisture in non-fat-substance

pH at 4 – 7 days

Ca mM/Kg SNF

Curing Time

 

Acid Coagulated

 

Cottage, quark, cream cheese

 

Acid coagulation at pH 4.6-4.8

 

72-80%, aw 0.980 - 0.995

Controlled by cooking and washing treatments

 

4.3-4.8  

Inhibition of culture by low pH, high temperature cooking or cooling, and/or washing

 

50-350

 

Consumed fresh, short shelf life

Heat-acid Coagulated

Indian Paneer and Channa, Ricotta, Requeson. Useful as cooking cheese

Heat denatured whey proteins are co-precipitated with caseins by acid. Whey proteins inhibit melting

75-84%  Increases with whey protein content, decreases with cooking after acidification

5.0-5.8; Amount of acidulant added. 3-6% lactose in cheese due to absence of fermentation

 

Normally consumed fresh, limited shelf life unless hot packed, pickled, or packed in sugar syrup

Unripened: rennet coagulated

Some Latin American, middle eastern and European varieties. Useful as cooking cheese

Rennet++, Little or no culture, cutting near endogenous pH

60-80% Controlled by cooking, stirring out and draining conditions. Syneresis often occurs in the package

5.8-6.6; Little or no culture. High pH prevents melting

 

Consumed fresh. High pH limits shelf life

Soft Ripened:  High Acid

Feta, Camembert, Blue

Rennet+++, culture+++; ripening time+++, cutting at pH < 6.5

60-70%, aw 0.96-0.99

Syneresis induced by acid development and by salting

4.5-4.8. Controlled by acid inhibition of culture, salting and cooling.

400-600

2-8 weeks

Semi-hard Cheese:  Washed

Gouda, Edam, Colby, Havarti, Montasio and many others

Rennet++, culture-+, ripening time++, Cutting at pH < 6.6

55-65%, aw 0.95-0.97

Controlled by cooking, temperature of wash water, rate of acid development, curd handling, salting treatments

5.0-5.2 Controlled by washing to remove lactose and other treatments such cooking, culture selection and salting.

500-700

2 weeks-9 months

Hard Cheese:  Low Temperature

Cheddar, Provolone

Rennet++, culture++, ripening time++, cutting at pH < 6.6

52-60%, aw 0.94-0.96

Controlled by cooking, curd handling, rate of acid development and salting

Rate of acid development and moisture control determines residual lactose; draining pH is critical

500-700

1-24+ months

Hard Cheese:  High Temperature

Swiss types, Italian types such as parmesan

Rennet+, culture+, ripening+ (little or none for Swiss), cutting at pH near 6.6

39-52%

Controlled mainly by high temperature cooking (52-55ºC)

Acidity and moisture determine residual lactose; draining pH is critical

600-800

1-24+ months

 
Table 1.2: Typical composition (% by weight) of some cheese varieties.  Adapted from Hill (2007).

Type

Cheese

Moisture

Protein

Fat

Total

CHO

FDM

Ash

Ca

P

Salt

Retail pH

Acid Coagulated

Cottage

Creamed cottage

Quark

Cream

Neufchatel

79.8

79.0

72.0

53.7

62.2

17.3

12.5

18.0

7.5

10.0

0.42

4.5

8.0

34.9

23.4

1.8

2.7

3.0

2.7

2.9

2.1

21.4

28.5

75.4

62.0

0.7

1.4

 

1.2

1.5

0.03

0.06

0.30

0.08

0.07

0.10

0.13

0.35

0.10

0.13

nil

1.0

 

0.73

0.75

5.0

5.0

4.5

4.6

4.6

Heat-Acid Coagulated

Chhana

Frying cheese

Ricotta-3% fat milk

Ricotone-from whey & milk

53.0

55.0

72.2

 

82.5

17.0

19.7

11.2

 

11.3

25.0

20.4

12.7

 

0.5

2.0

3.0

3.0

 

1.5

53.2

44.8

45.7

 

2.9

 

 

 

 

3.0

<0.5

 

<0.5

 

5.4

5.9

 

5.8

Fresh Rennet Coagulated

Queso Blanco

Queso de Freir

Italian fresh cheese

52.0

52.4

49.0

23.0

23.0

28.0

20.0

19.5

16.0

 

 

42.0

41.0

31.4

 

 

 

2.5

3.0

nil

5.8

5.8

6.5

Soft Ripened

Camembert

Feta

Blue

Gorgonzola

51.8

55.2

42.0

36.0

19.8

14.2

21.0

26.0

24.3

21.3

29.0

32.0

0.5

 

2.3

 

50.3

47.5

50.0

50.0

3.7

5.2

5.1

5.0

0.39

0.49

0.53

 

0.35

0.34

0.39

 

2.1

 

3.5

 

6.9

4.4

6.5

 

Semi-hard Washed

Colby

Gouda

Edam

Fontina

Havarti-Danish

Munster

40.0

41.5

41.4

42.8

43.5

41.8

25.0

25.0

25.0

24.2

24.7

23.4

31.0

27.4

27.8

25.5

26.5

30.0

2.0

2.2

1.4

 

 

1.1

51.7

46.9

47.6

44.6

46.9

51.6

3.4

3.9

4.2

3.3

2.8

3.7

0.68

0.70

0.73

 

 

0.72

0.46

0.55

0.54

 

 

0.47

0.65

0.82

0.96

1.2

2.2

1.8

5.3

5.8

5.7

5.6

5.9

6.2

Hard Cheese Low-Temp.

Cheddar

Manchego-Spain

Provolone

Mozzarella

36.7

37.9

40.9

54.1

24.9

28.1

25.6

19.4

33.1

26.9

26.6

21.6

1.3

 

2.1

2.2

52.4

45.2

45.1

47.1

3.9

3.6

4.7

2.6

0.72

 

0.76

0.52

0.51

 

0.50

0.37

1.8

1.5

2.2

1.0

5.5

5.8

5.4

5.3

Hard Cheese High-Temp.

Parmesan

Romano

Swiss

Keflatyri-Greece

29.2

30.9

37.2

34.2

35.7

31.8

28.4

24.8

25.8

26.9

27.4

28.3

3.2

3.6

3.4

 

36.5

39.0

43.7

 

6.0

6.7

3.5

4.7

1.18

1.06

0.96

 

0.69

0.76

0.60

 

3.0

3.0

1.2

 

5.4

5.4

5.6

5.2