The Science Of Cheese


The Science Of Cheese Is Weirder Than You Think

The science of cheese can be termed quite intriguing.  Cheese is a vastly diverse food. Also, it comes in several flavors, colors, and textures.  Cheese is a very popular item of food. While several people in the world do not like cheese, the number of cheese lovers is higher. Cheese is added to several foods to elevate its taste. For some people, cheese makes everything better.  Cheese is produced through the process of fermentation. It can be made not just from milk but from several plant products as well. Let us read some more about the many characteristics of cheese.

The Science of Cheese Is Weirder Than You Think
The Science Of Cheese Is Weirder Than You Think

The Science of Cheese Production

Cheese has many things in common with alcohol. As mentioned above, cheese results from fermenting milk or plant produce (like corn milk, etc.). The production of cheese uses several processes, and all the steps add value to the product. Cheese can be white (like mozzarella) to yellow or even orange. The yellowish color in cheese comes from a component can Annatto. This component is very similar to the carotene, which imparts the orange color to carrots.

There has always been an argument about whether raw milk cheese is safe for consumption. Many cheese experts argue that pasteurized milk cheese is not helpful. They believe that pasteurization kills all the good microbes in cheese that are good for us. However, many food associations maintain that raw milk cheese is not suitable for consumption. It is especially harmful to pregnant women, children under the age of five, or people suffering from immune deficiency diseases. Unpasteurized milk has a lot of naturally occurring harmful bacteria that thrive since the liquid remains untreated. Hence, consuming cheese from such milk is deemed hazardous. Some fatal diseases can occur from consuming cheese made from raw milk, like Listeriosis. If a cow is carrying bacteria, untreated milk from the cow, therefore, is contaminated too. Hence, it can contaminate the entire batch of milk, and if untreated, will be harmful to the consumers.

The Science Of Cheese Is Weirder Than You Think
The Science Of Cheese Is Weirder Than You Think

Some Interesting Cheesy Facts

A common question encountered by many cheese experts and connoisseurs is if human breast milk can produce cheese. Many studies and research took place to find an answer to this. The protein responsible for the formation of cheese is called casein.  Breast milk does not contain enough protein. Hence, it does not coagulate well. Therefore, breast milk cannot produce cheese.

It is a common belief that the yellower the cheese, the more nutrient-rich it is. However, it is not valid. Both yellow and orange cheddar has the same taste and nutrients.

During fermentation, the carbon dioxide settles in certain ‘weak spots’ on the surface of the cheese. When the gas escapes these little pockets, it leaves behind the holes on the cheese.

Yogurt also comes from fermenting milk. However, the liquid is heated to a high temperature first, in case of making yogurt. Doing this thickens the milk instead of curdling. Also, the whey protein, in the case of yogurt, is mostly left intact. However, in Greek yogurt, the whey protein is removed. This process produces a thick yogurt.

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