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Review article2021Peer reviewedOpen access

Graduate student literature review : current understanding of the influence of on-farm factors on bovine raw milk and its suitability for cheesemaking

Priyashantha, Hasitha; Lundh, Åse


Relationships between dairy farm practices, the composition and properties of raw milk, and the quality of the resulting cheese are complex. In this review, we assess the effect of farm factors on the quality of bovine raw milk intended for cheesemaking. The literature reports several prominent farm-related factors that are closely associated with milk quality characteristics. We describe their effects on the composition and technological properties of raw milk and on the quality of the resulting cheese. Cow breed, composite genotype, and protein polymorphism all have noticeable effects on milk coagulation, cheese yield, and cheese composition. Feed and feeding strategy, dietary supplementation, housing and milking system, and seasonality of milk production also influence the composition and properties of raw milk, and the resulting cheese. The microbiota in raw milk is influenced by on-farm factors and by the production environment, and may influence the technological properties of the milk and the sensory profile of certain cheese types. Advances in research dealing with the technological properties of raw milk have undoubtedly improved understanding of how on-farm factors affect milk quality attributes, and have refuted the concept of one milk for all purposes. The specific conditions for milk production should be considered when the milk is intended for the production of cheese with unique characteristics. The scientific identification of these conditions would improve the current understanding of the complex associations between raw milk quality and farm and management factors. Future research that considers dairy landscapes within broader perspectives and develops multidimensional approaches to control the quality of raw milk intended for long-ripening cheese production is recommended.


raw milk quality; cheesemaking; cheese quality; dairy farming; farm management factors

Published in

Journal of Dairy Science
2021, Volume: 104, number: 11, pages: 12173-12183