Module 8. Manufacture of different varieties of cheese

Lesson 18


18.1 Introduction

Gouda cheese, originated in the vicinity of Gouda in the province of South Holland, is one of the most important Dutch type varieties of cheese produced in the world. It belongs to semi-hard to hard varieties of cheese with few or no eye holes. Dutch type varieties of cheese are those that are made from fresh cow’s milk having fat such that the product contains at least 40% fat in the dry matter, starters consisting of mesophilic lactococci and leuconostocs that produce CO2, clotted by rennet, pressed to obtain a close rind, are salted in brine after pressing and have no essential surface flora (Walstra et al., 1998).


Fig. 18.1 Gouda cheese with small eyes

Traditionally, two main types of cheese were made in the Netherlands, namely Gouda and Edam. Gouda cheese was made from fresh unskimmed milk and was matured for 6-60 weeks while Edam cheese was made from a mixture of skimmed evening milk and fresh morning milk such that fat in cheese is about 40% on dry matter basis. The cheese has a somewhat shorter texture than Gouda and was usually ripened for 6 months or more.

Table 18.1 Chemical Composition


18.2 Method of Manufacture

18.2.1 Standardization, renneting and cutting

For the manufacture of good quality Gouda cheese, cow milk is considered to be the most suitable raw material. Manufacturing of Gouda cheese starts with acidification of the standardized milk. The milk is standardized so as to give 40-50% fat in cheese on dry matter. Starter is added @ 0.7% of the milk. No ripening is done for this type of cheese. Renneting is usually done at about 30°C @ 0.022% of milk and allowed to set for about 20-30 minutes. After the curd is properly set, it is cut in cubes of some 8-15 mm size. Stirring, at first gently till acidity rises by 0.02% (to minimize loss of fines) and later more vigorously, is done with the knives used for cutting or with special stirrers.

18.2.2 Scalding

After cutting, part of the whey (about one third) is removed for more effective stirring and to promote syneresis. It also facilitates partial removal of lactose, which aids in achieving a lower acidity. The temperature is also increased at the same time to aid syneresis process but not too high to injure starter organisms. Usually, it is kept below 38°C. This process of heating curd in whey is called ‘scalding’. The temperature is increased usually by addition of hot water at about 60°C (about equal quantity of whey drained) which also helps in controlling water content and the pH of the cheese.

18.2.3 Draining and pressing

After the curd has lost enough moisture i.e. around 65% moisture is left in the curd and pH is around 6.5, stirring is stopped and the curd grains are allowed to sediment. Continuous mass of curd is then formed due to fusion of the curd grains. This curd can now be cut into blocks and taken out of the whey. Blocks may be pressed further to remove whey. This may also cause considerable loss of fines. Fat loss in whey can be recovered by passing it through cream separator and loss of fines can be recovered by the use of hydrocyclones. The blocks are then put into moulds and pressed.

18.2.4 Brining

Brine salting is generally done using about 18-20% brine in tank. The pH of brine is adjusted to 4.8-4.9 to prevent dissolution of cheese protein in the brine. Cheese blocks should be inverted few times daily. Time taken for brining will depend on size, viz., 0.45 kg - 20 h, 0.90 kg - 36 h, and 3.83 kg - 3 days.

After brining, paraffining is done and the cheese blocks are kept for ripening. A maximum of 3-4 months are required for development of flavour and texture of Gouda cheese.


Fig. 18.2 Flow diagram for manufacturing Gouda cheese

Last modified: Wednesday, 3 October 2012, 10:07 AM