Factors Affecting Yield

  • Milk casein is the principal yield determining factor. Casein contributes absorbed water and minerals as well as its own weight. Cheese quality limits the ratio of moisture/casein, a ratio which corresponding to MNFS.
  • Fat is also a principal yield component. Fat interferes with syneresis and, therefore, also contributes more than its own weight, but if other conditions are adjusted to maintain constant MNFS, then fat contribution to yield is dependent only on the conversion factor of fat from milk to cheese (i.e., fraction of milk fat recovered in the cheese).
  • Cheese moisture. A 1% increase in Cheddar cheese moisture causes about 1.8% increase in cheese yield, partly because more moisture means more whey solids and salt are recovered in the cheese (eg., given 90 kg cheese/1000 kg milk, a moisture adjustment to 36% would result in 91.6 kg cheese/1000 kg milk)
  • Cheese salt. An extra 0.1% salt means an extra 0.14% yield of Cheddar cheese if the moisture content is increased accordingly.
  • Milk quality factors: somatic cell counts, psychrotrophic bacteria, protein quality etc. See Raw milk quality.
  • Increasing time and temperature of milk pasteurization increases cheese moisture retention and the recovery of whey proteins and soluble solids. There doesn't seem to be any consensus on how much is desirable but it's safe to say that it depends on the type of cheese and the quality standards of the manufacturer.
  • Process control parameters (See Cheese making step by step)
    • Careless cutting.
    • Heating too fast at early stages of cooking
    • Salting too soon after milling of Cheddar allows rapid salt uptake which in turn causes rapid synerisis and increased solubility of casein. Yield is, therefore, reduced by losses of protein, fat and soluble solids.
    • High temperatures during pressing cause loss of fat.
    • Proteolytic cultures or coagulating enzymes cause protein losses before and after cutting.
    • Washing removes soluble solids.
    • Working as in Mozzarella removes fat and soluble solids. Loss of soluble solids is minimized by equilibration of the wash water with the cheese moisture.