Abbreviations and definitions

Curd: Curd is the raw mixture for cheese production and is produced when the mixture is reduced to small pieces.

Casein: Casein is the name of the protein content in milk which is processed to make cheese and is kept separate from the whey.

Enzymes: Enzymes are found in every cheese which has been produced using lactic acid bacteria and edible mould. They determine the taste and consistency depending on the level and period of ripening.

FiDM/FDM.: This is the abbreviation for fat in dry mass. This measurement relates to the percentage of fat to be found in the cheese’s mass after all the water has been removed.

Rennet: Rennet is an enzyme called chymosin which, for cheese production, is usually extracted from calves. It can, however, also come from lambs or goats. Rennet has the function of causing the milk to coagulate without becoming sour. As an alternative to animal rennet, there is also so-called microbial rennet. This is extracted from a fungus and is not of animal origin. In this way vegetarians also have the chance to enjoy cheese.

Lactose: Milk naturally contains approx. 4.7% milk sugar, i.e. lactose. In the production of cheese the milk sugar is reduced by being changed into lactic acid by lactic acid bacteria. This process continues during cheese ripening and the longer the ripening process, the more lactose the cheese loses. For this reason long matured cheese specialities are naturally lactose-free.

Eye formation: Eye formation is a technical term for the holes or “eyes” in cheese which are caused by fermentation gases. There are different types of holes: eye formation usually produces large circular holes, or cracks with lots of little holes or small elongated holes, depending on the type of cheese.

Best before date: The best before date The best before date is a component of labelling which food suppliers are obliged to place on their products. The best before date indicates the date by which a foodstuff is to be consumed without significant loss of taste and quality and without health risk when stored correctly and in particular in accordance with the stated storage conditions.

Lactic acid bacteria: Lactic acid bacteria are specially produced bacterial cultures which cause the milk to turn sour. The milk sugar is changed into lactic acid with the result that the milk protein clots and coagulates into small balls. Without lactic acid bacteria there would not be the very wide range of milk products such as yoghurt, buttermilk or sour milk cheese.

Pasteurisation: Pasteurisation is the name for the brief warming of foods to temperatures up to 100° to make the foodstuffs last longer and destroy any germs present. During the process, however, the natural taste and composition of the milk are retained.

PH Value: The PH Value is the measure of the speed of acidification and is indispensable as a production control in cheese production.

Raw milk: Untreated cow’s milk which has not been heated above 40 is known as raw milk. Cheese made from raw milk has to be labelled as such for consumers and be easily identifiable.

Emulsifying salts: When cheese is heated it is important that a uniform curd is produced. Small amounts of emulsifying salts are needed so that fat, protein and water can blend.

UHT: UHT stands for ultra-high temperature products. In this process the product is heated to at least 135° in order to eliminate all germs and microorganisms. The best before date can usually be extended by this process.

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