Use new cultures to boost cheese capacity

by Jeff Gelski
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COPENHAGEN, DENMARK — New Choozit fresh starter cultures allow quark and other fresh cheese manufacturers to boost capacity without increasing their milk consumption or investing in extra equipment, according to DuPont Danisco. The cultures may extract up to 4% more curd from milk than other cultures, according to the company. At a facility with a weekly milk consumption of 3 million kilograms (6.6 million lbs), the extra curd extraction may add an extra 16.5 tonnes to the fresh cheese volume produced.

Choozit fresh cultures are pH stable, robust to bacterial attack and have a comparable fermentation time to conventional starter cultures, according to DuPont Danisco. They are designed for direct inoculation in the cheese vat. The resulting fresh cheese product has a clean, fresh flavor profile and is prone to minimal post-acidification.

Since 4 liters of milk may be required to produce 1 kilogram (2.2 lbs) of quark, DuPont researchers sought to reduce the quantities of acid whey waste. The level of non protein nitrogen in the acid whey in the production of quark caught the attention of the research team.

“We found that the non protein nitrogen was the result of protein loss from the milk, caused by the high protein-degrading enzyme activity of the starter cultures, especially bulk starters, during fermentation,” said Annie Mornet, global product manager, Choozit, for DuPont Nutrition & Health. “This protein loss has a direct negative impact on the dry matter content of the curd, reducing final yield.”

To create Choozit, Dupont researchers used a screening process to identify culture strains with low enzyme activity. Since the use of such culture strains maintains the integrity of the milk proteins, less protein is lost.

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