Module 8. Manufacturing of different varieties of cheeses

Lesson 20


20.1 Introduction

Mozzarella cheese was originally manufactured from high fat buffalo milk in the Battipaglia region of Italy, but it is now made all over Italy, in other European countries and USA from cow milk. It belongs to the cheese classified as ‘pasta filata’ which involves the principle of skillfully stretching the curd in hot water to get a smooth texture and grain in cheese. It is a soft, white un-ripened cheese which may be consumed shortly after manufacture. Its melting and stretching characteristics are highly appreciated in the manufacture of Pizza where it is a key ingredient.

The method of manufacture of Mozzarella cheese, irrespective of the milk system from which it is made involves:

(1) Optimum addition of starter culture or proper acidification of milk
(2) Renneting of milk, (3) cutting the curd at the right firmness
(4) Stirring and cooking the curd particles to the correct consistency
(5) Proper cheddaring, stretching and salting of curd for optimum plasticity and elasticity.

Table 20.1 Chemical composition


20.2 Chemistry of ‘stretch’ of Mozzarella Cheese

In the calcium rich environment of milk, the casein precipitates out of milk as di-calcium paracaseinate, entrapping fat, insoluble minerals and some sugar. At a pH between 5.2-5.4, resulting from the development (or direct introduction) of acid, some of the calcium of the dicalcium paracaseinate gets dissolved, leading to the formation of monocalcium paracaseinate. This when heated to 54°C or higher becomes smooth, pliable and stringy and retains fat. If acidification is excessive, generally below pH 5.2, monocalcium paracaseinate will continue to lose calcium and form paracasein, which may stretch, but has difficulty in retaining fat. The curd generally does not stretch above pH 5.6.


Fig. 20.1 Manufacturing steps (Traditional method)


Fig. 20.2 Manufacturing Steps (Direct Acid Method)

20.3 Advantages of the Direct Acidification Technique

1) Curtailed manufacturing time and expenses

2) Simplified technology due to elimination of propagation and maintenance of starter cultures

3) Starter failures due to bacteriophages and antimicrobial agents avoided

4) Less rennet required

5) Amenable to mechanization

20.4 Disadvantages

1) Slight reduction in yield of cheese

2) Bland flavour

An ideal Mozzarella cheese has a smooth surface with a perfect sheen, elastic, stringy body free from mechanical openings.

Last modified: Wednesday, 3 October 2012, 10:12 AM