Optimization of the jellification process in semi-hard cheese production


1Faculty of Biotechnology and Food, Agriculture University of Tirana, Koder Kamëz, Tirana 1029, Albania  

*Corresponding author  e-mail: ashkurti@ubt.edu.al  

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Appearance and structure of semi hard cheese is an important factor in the consumer acceptance and directly related to product quality. The appearance or color is influenced by how it reflects, absorbs, or transmits light, which in turn is related to the physical structure and chemical nature of the food. Hardness of cheese samples was affected with the change of coagulation processes. Cow’s milk was supplied from a EDE farm of AUT, and analyzed for protein, fat, moisture content and PH. The milk was immediately pasteurized at 72C for 15s. It is known that textural characteristics of cheese are affected by their structural characteristics, composition, cheese-making process, proteolysis during ripening and fat distribution. The influence of acidification, pH and the necessary time of clotting processes are very important in transformations (physical, biochemical, and microbial) during the manufacture and ripening of cheese. Two different starter cultures with 0.3% lactic acid bacteria, 0.03%, or 0.06% chymosin an aspartate-proteinase, 0.3 g/l CaCl2 and several time intervals: 30, 45, 60 minutes were used to achieve the possible optimum in gel structure creation, which is very important in the maturing phase of semi-hard cheese. Acid is added while gently stirring the milk, leading to the formation of a coagulum. The coagulum was allowed to settle before the curd was gathered and pressed to remove whey. Milk was clotted by lowering the pH, mostly affected by lactic acid bacteria and proteolytic enzymes of the bacteria which are able to split κ-casein. Optimization of the cheese-making process, proteolysis and syneresis was significantly affected by temperature and compaction time of the cheese.

Keywords: coagulation processes; proteolysis; clotting processes; ripening of cheese; κ-casein.

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