Family 6. Hard Cheese: Low temperature

Hard cheese (Families 6 and 7) are characterized by lower moisture (some pasta filata types excepted) than other families. Lower moisture permits removal of sufficient lactose by syneresis to avoid the necessity of washing. Low moisture is achieved by high temperature cooking (Family 7) or by controlled fermentation and curd handling (Family 6).

Varieties: Cheddar types and Pasta Filata. types. Cheddar and Pasta Filata manufacture are similar in the early stages. Pasta filata varieties are distinct in that they are worked and stretched in hot water and brine salted. Cheddar types are salted before hooping and pressing.

pH Control: The distinguishing feature of these cheese is that acid development is mainly controlled by the amount of syneresis. As with semi-hard cheese, the objective is to obtain a minimum pH of 5.0 - 5.2 within 1 - 3 days after manufacture. Lactose content is substantially reduced by fermentation with associated moisture loss during cheddaring and vat salting.

Moisture Control: Moisture is controlled by cooking temperature and time, stirring out after draining, cheddaring, amount of culture, and salting treatments. Typical moisture content is 35 - 39% for Cheddar types and up to 52% for Pasta Filata types.

Curing: 1 - 36 months.