Starter Cultures

The acidification of milk in cheese making by means of bacteria is called ripening. A variety of bacteria cultures are available for making specific cheese types. These bacteria, commonly called starters, are added to the milk after pasteurization and at specific temperatures. They are allowed to work for specific time periods depending on the type of cheese. During this period the bacteria consumes the lactose which is milk sugar. The biological process is the same as the fermentation of beer or wine. As the bacteria eat, they produce lactic acid which in turn causes the milk protein to develop into curd. Other byproducts of this ripening stage provide flavor compounds which enhance the character of the finished cheese. MESOPHILIC: lactococcus lactis ssp cremoris For fresh and hard cheeses such as Cheddar, Colby, Feta, Chevre. THERMOPHILIC: streptococcus thermophilus For fresh cheeses such as Camembert, Gouda, Blue, Baby Swiss and others where a buttery flavor and eye formation is desired. HELVETIC: lactobacillus helveticus For Italian cheeses like parmesan, romano, provolone and mozzarella

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    Cheese Making

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