Things You Should Know About Cheese
Cheese is an important part in the dairy industry, along with milk, butter and yogurt. With the help of rennet, we are able to coagulate the casein and obtain the curd from the milk. Moisture would be removed from the water-logged curd, through pressing and it will be shaped into a mould. The curd will be ripened in a storage room at suitable humidity and temperature. Based on the regulation, the coagulating agent shouldn’t contain any kind of harmful bacteria. Substances that may be added include salt, emulsifiers ans stabilizers. Wax is often used to protect cheese from the air and it can be colored red or yellow. The coloring agent should be safe for consumption, because some of the dye will seep into the cheese. As a dairy product, regular consumption of cheese could protect us from dental problems. It prevents the risk of demineralization of our teeth, due to regular consumption of sucrose. Demineralization may occue when calcium is released from our teeth diffusion into the plaque. Cheese contains some amount of phosphorus and calcium that can help to remineralize our teeth.
When we eat cheese, the production of saliva will increase and it will have protective effect on our teeth. Peptides in the cheese can help us to counteract the development of dental caries. It’s also believed that the effect of direct acting mutagens can be prevented by consuming cheese regularly. Potassium salts of sorbic acid and calcium in cheese can help im the prevention of moulds and yeast growth. Hard cheese is often treated with sorbic acid at the outer layer to prevent the growth of moulds during the ripening process. This will ensure that the cheese has acceptable quality when it’s fully ripe and ready for consumption. Sorbic acid should also prevent the appearance of dangerous fungal species, such as Aspergillus parasiticus and Aspergillus flavus. The patulin-producing Penicillum patulum can also be prevented quite effectively. Sorbic acid has no adverse effect when consumed and it’s permitted for use in many countries to preserve food and avoid the presence of unwanted small organisms.
Good fungi can actually be introduced during the ripening and storage phase of cheese. Streptomyces natalensis produces pimaricin or natamycin, which is able to suppress the growth of mould and yeast. Unfortunately, it’s less effective in deterring the growth of bacteria. Natamycin is particularly effective against A. Flavus. It’s used and applied the same way with sorbic acid, that is by applying the fungus on the outer layer of cheese. Natamycin should be re-applied on the cheese surface every two months to make sure that A. Flavus doesn’t have the opportunity to grow. Natamycin has no visible bad effect to our body and it’s also non toxic. However, the permitted level is under 2mg/dm2 of the surface of the cheese. When the cheese is delivered the deep of the penetration shouldn’t exceed 5mm. If possible, ask the cheese producers, what kind of additives that they use during the production and ripening processes, to make sure that they are all safe.