How Dutch Cheese is Made
Firstly, cheese is made from fresh milk. To make one kilogram of cheese about 10 liters of milk is required.
2. Thermization, Standardization and Pasteurization
Once the milk has arrived at the factory it is put into three processes.
- The first step is heating the milk to a 63 degree Celsius temperature. This helps to better the bacteriological quality but still maintain the taste.
- Once the milk has been heated it is moved to centrifuge. Here the fat content is altered until the right level is reached. This process is called the standardization.
- Finally, the milk is then sorted in a cool place. Then it is heated again, this time 72 degrees Celsius. This is the pasteurization process. Here all the harmful bacteria in the milk are destroyed.
3. Starter Culture and Rennet
- Once the milk has been pasteurized a starter culture is included in the milk order to convert the lactose into lactic acid, This is a crucial step for the ripening process for the taste of the cheese, as well as its shelf life.
- Rennet, an enzyme, is then added to the milk to make sure that it thickens. This makes the milk solidify. This is the curdling process.
3. Curds and Whey
- Once the milk has formed a solid mass from the curdling, it is then cut up to devide the whey (the fluid) from the curd (the thick part). The cutting is done using knives that move at different speeds.
- The particles of curd then make up the basic cheese. They whey is cooled, treated and processed to form other kinds of dairy products.
- Once the whey has been drained, the curd particles are then moved to the cheese moulds. Here they are pressed into the necessary shapes (loaf, wheel, ball, and rectangle) for about an hour.
- In order to preserve the cheese, it is put into a brine solution, This is done until the right salt content has been arrived at.
- The cheese will then remain in the brine solution for two to five days.
- Salt is important because it preserves the cheese, and it also influences its texture and taste.
- A fine plastic layer is then added to the cheese. this layer is important because to prevents dehydration and the formation of mould on the rind of the cheese.
- This plastic layer cannot be eaten, but it is not harmful if it is accidentally eaten.
- Cheese have to be ripened to get their aroma and taste.
- The cheese is placed onto special wood shelves which also absorb extra moisture. During this ripening process the cheese has to be turned regularly to ensure that it maintains its shape and does not begin to sag.
- White cheese ages it begins to get a different character, it becomes drier and it also develops more flavor. The minimum time for ripening is 4 weeks for young cheese up to more than 1 year for the tasty old cheese.