Moisture Control

  • cheese making is a process of removing moisture from a rennet coagulum or an acid coagulum consisting of fat globules (unless the milk is skimmed) and water droplets trapped in a matrix of casein micelles
  • cheese is, therefore, a concentrate of milk protein and fat.
  • most cheese making operations are related to this process of removing water from the milk gel by the process of syneresis
  • syneresis = to contract; refers to contraction of the protein network with the resulting expulsion of water from the curd
  • the water and water soluble components are literally squeezed out of the curd
  • this liquid, (whey) contains water, sugar, whey proteins, lactic acid and some of the milk minerals
  • the final moisture content, therefore, to a large extent determines the final pH of the cheese because it determines the residual amount of fermentable lactose in the cheese
  • at the same time other factors such as the amount and rate of acid development and the temperature and time of cooking, determine the amount and the rate of syneresis