Learning outcomes of the course unit
This course familiarizes students with concepts, techniques and issues related to cheesemaking technologies and legal regulations.
It provides students an understanding of main phenomena occurring during cheese production.
It allows students to focus on the problems and solutions necessary to enhance the safety and the quality of cheeses.
It provides a multi-sectorial approach (chemistry, microbiology, main technological steps) for an effective understanding of Italian cheesemaking technology
Course contents summary
Brief notes on milk chemical composition
The fundamental steps of cheesemaking:
Storage of milk at the farm and/or at the dairy: chemical and microbiological events
The rest of milk for creaming or biological maturation. Biological and chemical modifications
Milk heat treatment: objectives of pasteurization and thermization. Technological alternatives to heat treatment: microfiltration, bactofugation, innovative technologies
Standardization of milk composition for optimizing its cheesemaking properties: fat, protein, casein, pH and mineral content regulation
Microbial cultures: some characteristics, importance and use. Natural and industrial cultures.
Milk coagulation: coagulanting enzymes (animal rennets, microbial coagulants); instrumental methods to evaluate renneting; acid coagulation.
Whey separation from the curd: syneresis, permeability, effects due to cheesemaker choices (curd breaking, scalding, pressing, piercing). Relations between whey draining off and curd mineral content
The cooking of the curd: inactivation of pathogenic bacteria and selection of thermopilic lactic acid bacteria
The moulding of the curd and the acidification process
The stretching of the demineralized curd: the pasta filata cheeses group
The salting of cheese: milk or curd direct salting, dry salting, brining. Salt and Aw and microbial activity. Methods to regenerate brine
The ripening of the cheese. Sugar and lactate metabolism, proteolysis and lipolysis. Techniques to accelerate ripening
Information on the production of milk and cheeses in Italy
The PDO (Protected Designation of Origin) of Italian cheeses
Bylund G. (1995): Dairy Processing Handbook. TetraPack Publisher, Lund Sweden
Notes and slides
Frontal lesson with projection of didactic material, copy of which is supplied to the student
The appraisal is based on an oral examination, starting with the exposure of an argument chosen by the student, on which the teacher places the other questions on analogous topics and others parts of the course