Cheese Processing and Manufacturing

Cheese is a widely consumed dairy product having history dating back from early 8000BC and still an important part of modern cuisine. Food industry has seen various changes in the cheese manufacturing as rise in demand from consumer suiting personal taste. Cheese falls under acidic milk product as its production include milk acidification and adding enzymes, which are responsible for milk coagulation. The solid curd received are then treated further like removal of liquid whey and are mould pressed to get the desired shape. In case there is no additives added during the production of cheese apart from coagulating agents, then that is natural cheese. Naturally occurring cheese are when prepared by treating with unfermented dairy product, flavoring agents, coloring agents, and other stabilizing & emulsifying ingredients, they are processed or prepared cheese.

Type of Cheese

Cheese are categorized in various groups depending on the texture, method of preparation, fermentation period, aging and various other parameters. Broadly they are categorized into-

Natural Cheese- Cheese, which are naturally occurring and have no additives apart from coagulating agent.

Cooked pressed Cheese- Group of hard and semi hard cheese. They are made using thermophilic lactic fermentation started hence named cooked. The temperature given is more than 45 Deg. C

Stretched curd cheese- Hot curd is mechanically stretched for various texture and to obtain required cheese form.

Processed Cheese- Natural cheese are processed to get the additional flavor, color and desired texture and was invented in Switzerland in early 1900’s.

Hard Cheese– These cheese are aged longer and has lower moisture content which makes them more harder in texture.

Some other generally known cheese and their description is in below table-


Cheese Type








Sharp, strong

Creamy to crumbly

Pale yellow, white skin




Mild to strong

Semi hard to hard

Light to dark yellow




Medium to strong

Hard, firm, dense

Cream to orange





Soft, chewy

Creamy White




Medium to strong

Hard, Crumbly, granular

Pale Yellow




Mild, Slightly Sweet

Soft, creamy

Curd, white/light cream color




Strong, Tangy

Semi- Hard, Crumbly

White with large blue veins


Cream Cheese

United Kingdom

Mild, slightly sweet

Soft & Creamy

White Spread


Cottage Cheese

United States


Moist & Creamy

White Curd




Mild to pungent

Soft & smooth to crumbly

Pale white to orange


Parameters that can affect the cheese quality

  • Type of milk used for Cheese production
  • Temperature of renneting & subsequent cooking of the curd in the whey.
  • Treatment of curd after separation from the whey.
  • Degree of souring & fineness of cutting.
  • Time, temperature & relative Humidity of curing.
  • Milling & salting of the curd before placing it in the hoop or mould.
  • The pressure Applied to the cheese.
  • Special treatment such as pricking or stabbing the cheese, bathing in brine & surface treatment to produce.

Steps of Manufacturing

All cheese, irrespective of country of origin & methods of manufacture, possess certain characteristics in common. Below stated five stages are common in all type of cheese making. Sourcing, ripening, Clotting/coagulating by rennet or similar enzyme preparation,  Cutting of curd & release the whey, Matting the curd and Maturing/curing of cheese

Manufacturing steps in deep involves-

  1. Receiving – Only high grade milk can yield high grade cheese. The quality of finished cheese depends upon the quality of milk,
  2. Filtration & Clarification– Object being to remove any visible dirt in the milk so as to improve aesthetic quality of the cheese made.
  3. Standardization – Standardization of milk is main step in cheese making. In this step the SNF /Fat Ratio is adjusted i.e. 0.68-0.70. The main object for standardization of milk in cheese making regulate the fat in the dry matter & produce the maximum amount of cheese per kg of fat in the cheese.
  4. Pasteurization

The usual temperature time employed for pasteurization of cheese milk is:

  1. LTLT (Low Temperature & Long Time i.e 63°C for 30 Minutes)
  2. HTST (High Temperature & Short Time i.e. 71°C for 15 Seconds)
  3. Addition of Calcium Chloride – Excessive heat treatment cause the precipitation of a part of the calcium salt in milk, this results in slower renneting action & weaker curd , which can be corrected by addition 0.01-0.03 %calcium chloride to the milk.

  1. Addition of Starter – Starter is the heart of cheese. A bad starter give low quality of cheese. The usual time to add the starter added is to the extent of 0.5 to 1% of the milk at the 30-31°C .
  2. Addition of rennet – Rennet is added when it has been determined the acid is developing at the desired rate. When the acidity of milk has raised 0.02% rennet added of the milk at 30°C Temperature. After 25 to 30 minutes after addition of rennet start cutting of curd.
  3. Coagulation -The first signs of coagulation are bubbles of air that stir into the milk surface take longer break & flakes of curd when spatula dipped into the milk & withdrawn.
  4. Cutting -Cutting of firm coagulum into cubes of a specific size and this cutting can be in two way horizontal & vertical cutting by wire mesh.

  1. Cooking -This refers to the heating of curd cubes it begins within 15 minutes of cutting.
  2. Drainage of whey -This step involves the removal of whey from the curd.
  3. Cheddaring -This step is a combined operation of packing, turning, re-pilling the curd cubes.
  4. Salting – This step involves the salting of cheese cubes pieces. Salt in cheese enhances flavor, body & texture and then sent to cheese storage section at control temperature & RH room.

Any deviation in the processing parameter shall result in completely different texture and totally new form of cheese.

Write a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *