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Cultures and additives are added to color and flavor cheese, to adjust the pH to the desired level, to develop the curds and aroma

Cultures used in cheesemaking are divided into two main groups:
  • Mesophilic bacteria grow best at lower temperatures than thermophilic bacteria, with a temperature range of 50-108° F, with an optimum range between 77-86° F. Mesophilic culture blends are used primarily for American-style and specialty cheeses (ie: cheddar, brie, etc.) .
    • Mesophilic bacteria are further divided into two groups: Many culture blends contain a mixture of these two types of mesophilic bacteria.
      • Lactic Acid Starter bacteria (including Lactococcus lactis subsp. lactis and Lactococcus lactis subsp. cremoris), which are primarily used for producing lactic acid,
      • Aroma Producing bacteria (including Lactococcus lactis subsp. lactis biovar diacetylactis and Leuconostoc mesenteriodes subsp. cremoris), which are primarily used for producing CO2 gas and flavor
  • Thermophilic lactic acid starter cultures prefer warmer temperatures, with a temperature growth range between 68-125° F. with an optimum range between 95-107º F. Thermophilc cultures are frequently used in Italian-style cheeses such as parmesan, etc.
Rennet is used to coagulate or thicken milk during the cheesemaking process. After the milk is collected, the cheesemaking process begins by adding starter cultures that change lactose (milk sugar) into lactic acid. This process changes the acidity level of the milk and starts the process of thickening the milk into a solid. Next, rennet is added to encourage even more thickening so that curds form and separate from the whey (liquid).
There are several types of rennet and are available in either liquid or tablet formats. Liquid rennet must be refrigerated and never frozen
  • Natural or animal comes from unweaned cows, goats, and sheep and is called rennet
  • Vegetable derived from the mold Mucor miehei and is an alternative to animal rennet. It is often referred to as vegetarian rennet
Use Calcium chloride to boost the coagulation ability of Rennet if using store-bought, highly pasteurized and/or homogenized milk.

Lipase is used to creates the aroma, texture and sharp taste common in most Italian cheeses, as well as some Feta and Blue Cheeses. One of the many enzymes that are present in raw milk the lipase enzyme attach to the fat globes of the liquid breaking them down, releasing the fatty acids and creating the aroma, texture and sharp taste  desired in most Italian cheeses, as well as some Feta and Blue Cheeses.During the handling and processing of commercial milk, particularly if it is pasteurized, the lipase enzymes are usually destroyed so Lipase must be added back into the milk, to reintroduce those enzymes and their usual function. Even with raw milk you may still require an addition of Lipase as the enzymes can be affected and reduced by the health and diet of the animal they are taken from.

Citric Acid is used to adjust the pH of cheeses such as 30 Minute Mozzarella and Ricotta. The pH level determines the tartness or sourness of the cheese.
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