Cheeses are obtained by coagulation of milk, followed by processing of the curd and its maturation, during which organoleptic properties specific to each type of cheese are formed. Cheeses are a concentrate of all milk solids. The composition of cheeses includes up to 28-30% of protein substances, which are partially broken down during the ripening process and therefore are easily absorbed in the body (by 96-98%). Cheeses are distinguished by a high content of milk fat (20-60%), which determines their high calorie content (250-400 kcal per 100 g). Cheeses are rich in phosphorus-calcium mineral salts, fat- and water-soluble vitamins.
Classification and assortment of cheeses . According to the method of coagulation of milk, rennet cheeses (rennet is used) and sour -milk (lactic acid is used) are distinguished. Rennet cheeses, in turn, are divided into natural (made from milk) and processed cheeses (made from natural cheeses with the addition of other ingredients). Natural rennet cheeses include hard, soft and pickled cheeses. Processed cheeses include processed cheeses of various species groups.
Hard rennet cheeses represent the most extensive group. They are characterized by a fairly dense texture and a relatively low moisture content. Hard rennet cheeses are divided into:
§ cheeses pressed with a high temperature of the second heating (58-68 ° C), – Swiss type (Swiss, Soviet, Altai, etc.), grating type (Gornoaltaysky , Caucasian);
§ cheeses pressed with a low temperature of the second heating (41-43°С), — of the Dutch type (Dutch, Kostroma, Yaroslavl, Poshekhonsky, Stepnoy, Uglichsky, etc.);
§ cheeses pressed with a low temperature of the second heating and a high level of lactic acid fermentation – such as Cheddar (Cheddar, Gorny Altai, Katun, etc.), Russian;
§ self-pressing cheeses with a low temperature of the second heating, ripening with the participation of the microflora of cheese slime – Latvian, Pikantny, Kaunas, Klaipeda, etc.
The maturation of hard rennet cheeses ranges from 25-45 days (self-pressing cheeses) to 8-9 months (pressed with a high temperature of the second heating). The regulatory documents for cheeses set the age at which they must be produced for sale (in days, at least), for example: Altai – 120, Soviet – 90, Dutch bar – 60, Kostroma – 45, etc.
According to the shape of the head, cheeses are in the form of a rectangular bar (Soviet), a ball (Dutch round), high (Yaroslavl) and low (Swiss) cylinders.
Soft cheeses ripen quite quickly (on average, within 30 days) with the participation of the starter microflora that develops on the surface and inside the cheese head. They are not subjected to forced pressing, so they have a higher moisture content and a softer, more delicate texture compared to hard rennet cheeses. The taste and smell of soft cheeses are sharp, slightly ammoniacal, and the pattern is practically absent, with the exception of small voids. Depending on the microflora of the starter involved in maturation, soft cheeses are divided into the following subgroups:
§ ripening with the participation of cheese mucus (Dorogobuzhsky, Medynsky, Kalininsky, etc.);
§ ripening with the participation of molds developing on the surface of the cheese (Russian Camembert, White Dessert, etc.);
§ maturing with the participation of molds developing inside the head of cheese (Roquefort, Alpin blue, etc.);
§ ripening with the participation of molds and cheese mucus (Snack, Smolensky, Amateur, etc.);
§ fresh, sold without maturation (Domashny, Adygei, Naroch, Ostankinsky, etc.).
Pickled cheeses are made from different types of milk (cow, sheep, goat, buffalo) or mixtures thereof. They ripen in brine, so they have a characteristic sharp-salty taste, a soft, layered or somewhat brittle texture, and there is no crust on the surface of brine cheeses.
Brynza is a typical representative of pickled cheeses. Pickled cheeses also include cheeses such as Suluguni, Chanakh, Ossetian, Kobiyskiy, Georgian, Chechel, Tushinsky, Limansky, etc.
Processed cheeses are produced from non-standard rennet cheeses that deviate in fat content or moisture content, or have defects in dough, crust, appearance, which do not remove them from the food category. In addition, the recipe mixture includes cottage cheese, whole or skimmed milk powder, butter, sour cream and other dairy products, as well as special melting salts as an obligatory component, which contribute to the dissolution of proteins and thereby ensure a uniform consistency. Processed cheeses do not have a pattern; a small amount of air voids is allowed. Depending on the features of the technology, processed cheeses are divided into species groups:
§ chunky (Russian, Poshekhonsky, City, Kostroma, etc.);
§ sausages (smoked without fillers and spices, with fillers, with spices – with pepper, with cumin, etc.);
§ pasty (Amber, Friendship, Wave, Summer, Viola, etc.);
§ sweet (Chocolate, Coffee, Fruit, With nuts, Honey, etc.);
§ canned (sterilized, pasteurized, pasteurized with ham);
§ for dinner (With onions, With porcini mushrooms, With mushrooms for soup, etc.).
Sour -milk cheeses are made by sour-milk or rennet-sour milk coagulation. Some of them are produced without maturation (tea, coffee curds), and some ripen from 1-2 weeks to 1.5 months (Hartz, Green grater cheese).
The quality of cheeses is evaluated by the content of fat (in dry matter), moisture, salt and organoleptic indicators.
Hard rennet cheeses , except for Yaroslavl Bolshoy, Kuban, Russian, Poshekhonsky, Dnestrovsky, Northern, Pikantny, as well as pickled cheeses, depending on organoleptic indicators, are divided into the highest and I grades.