Science Byte

Changing the composition of milk prior to cheese making

Some cheese makers will alter the composition (e.g. fat, protein, etc.) of the cheese making milk. There are a variety of reasons standardization can be done. Many cheeses have regulations dictating the allowable limits of moisture and fat. In some cases, standardization is done to meet these regulatory standards (e.g. lowering fat for part-skim mozzarella). Standardization can also be done in order to increase efficiency and maximize cheese yield. The composition of milk varies throughout the year and the cow will naturally produce milk with varying amounts of fat and protein month-to-month. The cheese maker can make up for this variation by standardizing the milk!


Cheese makers can standardize milk in order to ensure consistency

There are several methods that can be used to standardized milk:

  • Addition of skim milk (adding protein)
  • Addition of cream (adding fat)
  • Removal of cream (removing fat)
  • Addition of milk solids (adding protein)
  • Filtering milk (concentrating certain milk components, removing others)

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