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Research article2021Peer reviewedOpen access

Variation in Dairy Milk Composition and Properties Has Little Impact on Cheese Ripening: Insights from a Traditional Swedish Long-Ripening Cheese

Priyashantha, Hasitha; Johansson, Monika; Langton, Maud; Sampels, Sabine; Bannak Gedara , Shishanthi Jayarathna ; Hetta, Mårten; Hallin Saedén, Karin; Höjer, Annika; Lundh, Åse


The monthly variation in raw dairy silo milk was investigated and related to the ripening time of the resulting cheese during an industrial cheese-making trial. Milk composition varied with month, fat and protein content being lowest in August (4.19 and 3.44 g/100 g, respectively). Casein micelle size was largest (192–200 nm) in December–February and smallest (80 nm) in August. In addition, SCC, total bacteria count, proteolytic activities, gel strength, and milk fatty acid composition were significantly varied with month. Overall sensory and texture scores of resulting cheese were mainly influenced by plasmin and plasminogen activity, indicating the importance of native proteolytic systems. Recently, concepts based on the differentiated use of milk in dairy products have been suggested. For the investigated cheese type, there might be little to gain from such an approach. The variation in the investigated quality characteristics of the dairy milk used for cheese making had little effect on cheese ripening in our study. In contrast to our hypothesis, we conclude that as long as the quality of the milk meets certain minimum criteria, there are only weak associations between cheese milk characteristics and the time required for the development of aroma and texture in the cheese. To find answers behind the observed variation in cheese ripening time, studies on the effects of process parameters are needed.


cheese maturation; seasonality; raw milk quality; cheese making; fatty acids

Published in

2021, Volume: 2, number: 3, pages: 336-355