Other Technological Criteria

The cheese families described above provide a useful 'coat rack' to help organize cheese according to the initial manufacturing procedures which determine cheese composition and its primary micro-structure. The following is a more comprehensive summary of technological parameters which determine cheese characteristics.

  • Species: cow, goat, sheep, buffalo, yak, other
  • Milk standardization
    • Fat and protein contents
    • Whey and milk blends
  • Coagulation
    • rennet gel
    • acid gel
    • heat-acid precipitate
  • Moisture control
    • Cooking temperature and time
    • Mesophilic versus thermophilic cultures
    • Amount and acidifying properties of the culture
    • Heat treatment of the milk
  • Type of pH control
    • Direct acidification vs fermentation
    • Amount and type of culture
    • Lactose removal:
      • Washing (American, Dutch)
      • High temperature syneresis (Swiss, Hard Italian)
      • High acid syneresis (Feta, Cheshire)
      • Cheddaring (Cheddar, Pasta Filata)
  • Extent of acid development
    • Low acid (minimum pH > 5.8), Latin American fresh cheese
    • Medium acid (minimum pH 4.9 - 5.5), most European varieties
    • High acid (minimum pH < 4.9), Fresh cheese, soft ripened cheese
  • Salting procedures
    • Salt before forming
    • Surface salt after forming
    • Immersion in salt brine
  • Type and duration of ripening
    • Fresh versus ripened
    • Interior, including blue veined cheese
    • Interior and surface ripened
      • Bacterial/yeast smears
      • White surface mould
  • Type of rind
    • Rindless-waxed, film wrapped, painted
    • Dry rind (cured at 85% relative humidity)
    • Surface ripened (cured at 90-95% relative humidity)
  • Texture
    • Openings: mechanical, small holes, large holes
    • Firmness
  • Melting properties
    • No melt: softening without flow (frying cheese)
    • Stretching: Low melt and strongly elastic (Mozzarella)
    • Fondue: Medium melt, medium elasticity (Raclette)
    • High melt: flows readily with no stretch (aged Cheddar)