Parmigiano Reggiano Cheese
Learning outcomes of the course unit
The course aims to enable the student to know and to understand the essential elements of the techniques of production of Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, illustrating the breeding of dairy cows, the characteristics of the milk, the processing technology of the cheese, the production regulations and the main factors that can influence the characteristics of the final product.
Course contents summary
Historical, economic, regulatory aspects. Dairy cow breeding. Milk for Parmigiano Reggiano. Casein micelles and coagulation, somatic cells. Technology of processing, in the detail. The ripening. Expertisation, classifications and main defects. Polymorphism of milk proteins and cheese yield. Parmigiano Reggiano from only one breed. The Italian and foreign competitors.
INTRODUCTION: Description of the course structure. HISTORICAL, ECONOMIC, REGULATORY ASPECTS: General characteristics of Parmigiano Reggiano; Historical notes, the DOP, the Parmigiano Reggiano production area and the production Regulations; The Consortium, the control body and their functions; economic data and management aspects of dairies and ripeners. DAIRY COW BREEDING: Fecondation, parturition, lactation, dry; Breeds and main types of housing (stall) in the PR area; milking; types of milking; feeding and nutrition of cows for Parmigiano-Reggiano production. MILK FOR PARMIGIANO REGGIANO: Composition of milk: protein, fat, lactose; casein and whey proteins; casein micelles; physico-chemical properties of milk; Milk Quality Payment; Microbial charge, EU limit and Rolling geometric average. CASEIN MICELLES AND COAGULATION, SOMATIC CELLS: The structure of casein micelles; acid coagulation, rennet coagulation, syneresis; rennet-coagulation properties and lactodynamography; somatic cells, EU limit and geometric rolling average. TECHNOLOGY OF PROCESSING: Collection in dairy and milk concept of "unique collection"; Natural outcrop (creaming) of milk, characteristics "low fat milk"; The vat milk and fat/casein ratio; The starter whey, its main roles, the different modes of production; Rennet and coagulation; Cutting of the curd and size of the granules; The cooking; "Passivation of the granules", risks of too high T; Extraction; put into the mould; turning of the wheel; Salting: its main roles, brines and their typologies; hyposodic PR. THE RIPENING: The ripening warehouses, T and humidity, mechanical brushing; Acidification in the first 24-48 hours; issue of T gradient; Proteolysis and its agents; products of proteolysis, the crystals in the Parmigiano Reggiano; Lipolysis and its agents; products of lipolysis. EXPERTISATION, CLASSIFICATIONS AND MAIN DEFECTS: The quality expertisation carried out by the Consortium and its instruments; Marks of origin and selection marks; Main classification; Grated and portioned PR: brands and legislative aspects; Main defects of Parmigiano Reggiano. POLYMORPHISM OF MILK PROTEINS AND CHEESE YIELD: Polymorphism of milk proteins; Influence of k-casein B and beta-lactoglobulin B, test K; The yield in PR cheese: calculation, predetermination and his legal importance. PARMIGIANO REGGIANO FROM ONLY ONE BREED: Parmigiano Reggiano from Reggiana breed; The disolabruna; Parmigiano Reggiano of Modenese breed; The milk of Jersey. THE ITALIAN AND FOREIGN COMPETITORS: Grana Padano: main differences with the PR; Other national non-PDO hard cheeses: Bagoss, Gran Speciale, Gran Biraghi; Hard cheeses made with vegetable rennet; Foreign competitors: Gran Moravia, Parmesan, Reggianito.
SLIDES SHOWN AT LESSON
Bittante G., Andrighetto I., Ramanzin M. “Tecniche di produzione animale” Liviana Editrice, Padova.
Monetti P.G.: Allevamento dei bovini e dei suini. Cristiano Giraldi Ed., Città di Castello (PG), 2001.
Alais C.: Scienza del latte - principi di tecnologia del latte e derivati. Ed. Tecniche Nuove, Milano,1984
During the lectures in the classroom, with the use of audio-visual facilities, the regulatory, economic, technological characteristics of Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, the breeding of dairy cows and the characteristics of milk will be presented. The course will be supported by visits to farms in order to make it clear to the student, through a direct experience in the field, the theoretical concepts discussed in the classroom.
Assessment methods and criteria
The assessment of the achievement of the objectives of the course will include a written and oral examination. The written examination will focus on a series of questions which will be previously provided to students. Through questions regarding the course content will be determined whether the student has achieved the goal of knowledge and understanding. The student must demonstrate that they have mastered the knowledge about the regulatory, economic, technological characteristics of Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, breeding of dairy cows and milk characteristics. By means of the questions in the oral examination will be determined whether the student has achieved the goal of linking the arguments and to find solutions to problems, and if it proves to have good reasoning skills and independent judgment. It will be also assessed the appropriate specific language.