Cheese technology handbook from C.H.I.P.S.

Cheese Problems Solved
edited by P.L.H. McSweeney

Cheese Problems Solved provides responses to more than 200 of the most frequently asked questions about cheese and the cheese-making process, in a unique and practical question-and-answer format. A practical up-to-date handbook for the cheese manufacturing industry.


  • provides responses to over 200 of the most frequently asked questions about cheese and the cheese-making process
  • an essential reference and problem solving manual for professionals and trainees in the cheese industry
  • benefit from the knowledge of leading specialists in the field

Opening chapters concentrate on queries regarding the preparation of cheese milk, the conversion of milk to curd, the ripening process, pathogens, cheese analysis and nutritional aspects of cheese amongst other issues.

The latter half of the book discusses particular types of cheeses such as Cheddar, Grana-type cheeses, Mozzarella, Dutch-type, Swiss and Blue cheeses, to name but a few.



  • What is the typical composition of cows' milk and what milk constituents favour cheesemaking?
  • How do seasonal variations in milk composition affect cheese quality?
  • What are milk salts and how do they affect the properties of cheese?
  • What are the compositions of other species' milks and how does this affect their cheesemaking properties?

Preparation of cheesemilk

  • What problems are caused by psychrotrophs?
  • Why do elevated somatic cell counts cause difficulty in cheesemaking?
  • Why must milk be standardized for cheesemaking?
  • Why is cheesemilk usually pasteurized?
  • What effects does pasteurization have on cheesemilk?
  • How does one improve the cheesemaking properties of over-pasteurized milk?
  • What is thermization and why is it used?
  • Why are colours sometimes added to cheesemilk?
  • What effects does cold storage have on the properties of milk?

Ultrafiltration of cheesemilk

  • Why is ultrafiltration used for cheesemaking and how is it applied?


  • What are starters and what starter types are used for cheesemaking?
  • What problems are caused by antibiotic residues in milk?
  • What are lactentins and how do these natural substances inhibit acid production?
  • What are bacteriophage and what strategies should be used to avoid phage infection?
  • What factors affect the buffering capacity of cheese?
  • What enzymes from starters contribute to cheese ripening?

Conversion of milk to curd

  • How does rennet coagulate milk?
  • Why is the Phe-Met bond of k-casein so susceptible to rennet action?
  • How can one demonstrate that there are two stages to rennet coagulation?
  • What enzymes are in rennet?
  • What factors affect the retention of rennet in cheese curd?
  • What rennet substitutes are suitable for cheesemaking?
  • What factors affect rennet coagulation time?
  • What effects has homogenization of milk on the manufacture and quality of cheese?
  • How does homogenization affect the functionality of cheese?
  • Why is CaCl2 often added to cheesemilk?
  • Introduction: What is syneresis?
  • How does the composition of milk affect syneresis?
  • What processing variables affect syneresis?
  • Why are certain cook temperatures used for certain cheeses?
  • What is case hardening and what problems does it cause?

Salt/NaCl in cheese

  • Introduction: what are the functions of NaCl in cheese?
  • What are typical NaCl levels in different cheeses?
  • What are the differences between dry-salting and brine-salting?
  • What factors affect salt uptake in cheese curd?
  • How does NaCl affect cheese composition?
  • What causes the outside of brine-salted cheese to become slimy and sticky?
  • How should cheese brine be prepared and maintained?
  • How does NaCl affect the microbiology of cheese?
  • How can one make low sodium cheese?

Cheese yield

  • Introduction: why is cheese yield important?
  • How is cheese yield defined?
  • How can cheese yield be predicted?
  • What factors associated with the milk affect cheese yield?
  • What factors under the control of the cheesemaker affect yield

New technologies

  • What potential uses do high hydrostatic pressures and high pressure homogenization have in cheesemaking?

The microbiology of cheese ripening

  • Introduction. What factors affect microbial growth in cheese?
  • What are non-starter lactic acid bacteria and how do they affect cheese quality?
  • What causes the development of gas during ripening?

Pathogens and food poisoning bacteria

  • What factors affect microbial growth in cheese?
  • What are non-starter lactic acid bacteria and how do they affect cheese quality?
  • What causes the development of gas during ripening?
  • Introduction. What cheeses are most liable to pathogens?
  • What pathogens survive pasteurization and which are killed?
  • Do pathogens grow during cheese ripening?
  • What is Mycobacterium avium subsp. paratuberculosis and how is it controlled?
  • Is E. coli O157:H7 of concern to cheesemakers: What factors should be considered to reduce coliform counts?
  • What are enterococci and are they pathogenic?
  • What factors should be considered when developing a HACCP plan for cheesemaking?
  • What are biogenic amines and how are they produced?
  • What are mycotoxins, where do they come from and what problems do they cause?

Nutritional aspects of cheese

  • What are typical levels of vitamins in different cheeses?
  • Is cheese good for your teeth?
  • What are typical calcium levels in different cheeses?


  • Introduction: how may cheese be packaged?
  • Mould develops under the packaging: Why?

Whey processing

  • What products may be produced from whey?

Analysis of cheese

  • What is the correct way to sample cheese for analysis?
  • How are volatile flavour compounds measured in cheese?
  • What procedures are available for the sensory analysis of cheese and are they reliable?
  • How reliable is cheese grading?

Principal families of cheese

  • What is a "controlled designation of origin"?
  • How are cheese varieties classified?
  • How did cheese originate?
  • What are the major cheese consumers and producers in the world?
  • What are the differences between acid-curd cheese and yogurt/fermented milks?

Flavour, texture and flavour defects in hard and semi-hard cheeses

  • How does flavour develop in cheese during ripening?
  • How can the problem of bitterness in cheese be solved?
  • What is hydrolytic rancidity and how can it be avoided?
  • What is late gas blowing and how may this defect be avoided?
  • What general factors affect the texture of hard and semi-hard cheeses?
  • Cheese is weak-bodied: What strategies could be adopted to produce a firmer cheese and what are the effects of each treatment?
  • What strategies should be adopted and what are the effects of each treatment to obtain a less acid Cheddar cheese?
  • What strategies can be adopted to soften the texture of a hard cheese?

Grana-type cheeses and Parmesan

  • What causes the traditional grainy texture of Italian Grana-type cheeses?
  • What common problems are associated with Grana-type cheeses?
  • How do traditional Italian Grana-type cheeses and industrial "Parmesan" differ?

Cheddar cheese

  • What is cheddaring and what physico-chemical changes occur during this process?
  • What are mechanical and slit openings in Cheddar and how may they be avoided?
  • Why do salted Cheddar curd pieces not fuse together properly?
  • Why is it important to control the composition of Cheddar cheese to ensure high quality?
  • Why does cheese develop a pink discoloration?
  • What factors lead to texture defects in low fat/reduced fat Cheddar cheese?
  • What factors favour the development of calcium lactate crystals in cheese?

Dutch-type cheeses

  • Why is the surface of my Gouda cheese slimy and discoloured?
  • Why is the texture of Gouda tough and the flavour flat?
  • My Gouda cheese has a soapy off-flavour. Why?
  • Why does Gouda cheese have irregular eye distribution?
  • What problems do Propionibacterium sp. cause in Gouda?
  • How are they controlled?
  • Under which conditions do blisters occur under the wax layer of Gouta type cheese?
  • How may late blowing be avoided in Gouda type cheeses?
  • How can excessive gas formation by thermophilic streptococci take place in Gouda cheese?

Swiss cheese

  • What factors affect eye development in Swiss cheese?
  • What causes "blind" Emmental cheese?
  • What causes irregular eye formation, slits and cracks in Emmental cheese?
  • What is aspartase of Propionibacterium?
  • How does aspartase activity of Propionibacterium affect Swiss cheese?
  • How may the size of the eyes in Emmental-type cheese be controlled?
  • How do I control the elastic texture of Swiss-type cheese?
  • Why does Swiss cheese have a sweet flavour?
  • What are the causes of the most common flavour defects of Swiss cheese?
  • Is Emmental cheese hygienically safe?

White-mould cheese

  • Why does the surface pH in Camembert cheese not increase adequately?
  • Mould development on Camembert or Brie is inadequate: Why?
  • Why does Camembert or Brie have a grey or brown colour?
  • Why does the texture of Camembert or Brie remain too hard?
  • Why does Camembert-type cheese become too liquid?
  • How are spoilage fungi controlled in white-mould cheeses?
  • How can I cure the "toad-skin" and "cat-hair" defects of Camembert cheese?
  • What causes bitterness and other flavour defects in Camembert?

Blue cheese

  • Introduction: what are Blue cheese varieties?
  • Why does Blue cheese develop brown spots?
  • How may spoilage fungi be controlled in Blue cheese?
  • Why does Blue cheese not develop adequate veining?

Bacterial surface-ripened cheeses

  • Introduction: what are bacterial surface-ripened (smear) cheeses?
  • What organisms grow on the surface of smear cheeses?
  • Why might smear cheese develop excessive mould?
  • Why does cheese not develop an adequate smear?
  • How may patchy smear development be avoided?

Low moisture Mozzarella cheese (LMMC)

  • What are pasta-filata cheeses and what physico-chemical changes occur during cooking/stretching?
  • How can expression of free watery serum be avoided in cooked LMMC?
  • I recently changed from bacterial to direct acidification. Why is my LMMC different?
  • How may moisture levels in LMMC be controlled and what changes should be expected if moisture changes?
  • Shredded cheese tends to mat together into wet aggregates. How may the shreddability of LMMC be improved?
  • Why does LMMC not develop a smooth stretchable consistency on heating?
  • Why does LMMC become excessively soft and fluid on heating?
  • Why does LMMC have poor flowability?
  • Why does LMMC brown excessively on cooking?
  • Why and how do the functional properties of LMMC change on heating?
  • Why does LMMC become excessively soft and gummy during ripening?
  • What factors affect the functionality of LMMC?
  • LMMC is tough and rubbery; what might be the problem?
  • What causes the soft rind/soft surface defect in LMMC?
  • What causes soft body defect in LMMC?
  • How can I control the development of free oil during melting?
  • How can the browning rate of LMMC be controlled?

Cheeses ripened in brine

  • What causes early and late gas blowing in white-brined cheese?
  • What causes blowing of the white-brined cheese containers?
  • How may mouldiness in white-brined cheese be avoided?
  • What causes softening of the cheese body in white-brined cheeses?
  • Why is the brine surrounding my white-brined cheese ropy?

Acid and acid/heat-coagulated cheeses

  • How may wheying off (spontaneous syneresis) in Quarg be avoided?
  • Why is Quarg dry and grainy?
  • How may over-acid and bitter flavour defects in Quarg be avoided?
  • How may the viscosity of cream cheese be controlled?
  • Free oil forms in cream cheese at the outlet of the heat exchanger: How can this problem be resolved?
  • The coagulum of Cottage cheese is weak and there is poor syneresis: Why?
  • What is agglutination of starter bacteria and how do I avoid sludge formation?
  • How do I solve the "floating curd" defect in Cottage cheese?
  • The curd particles for my Cottage cheese are slick and slimy: Why?
  • Why is there whey separation from my Cottage cheese after packaging?
  • What strategies should be adopted to improve the yield of Cottage cheese?
  • What are the likely causes of surface discoloration, off-odours and bitterness in Cottage cheese?
  • How may the shelf-life of Cottage cheese be extended?
  • What are harsh and green flavour defects in Cottage cheese?
  • How may the mouthfeel of Queso Blanco be improved?
  • What approaches may be used to control the texture of Queso Blanco?

Cheese as a food ingredient

  • How may the browning of heated cheese be controlled?

Processed cheese

  • Introduction: what is processed cheese?
  • Why does processed cheese sometimes have a gummy pudding-like texture and oil-off?
  • Why does processed cheese sometimes have a soapy flavour?
  • How is the firmness and spreadability of processed cheese controlled?
  • Why does processed cheese have a dry, short, crumbly texture?
  • Why does processed cheese have a soft, inelastic, adhesive and spreadable texture?
  • What causes crystals in processed cheese and how can this problem be minimized?

Cheese-like products

  • Introduction: what are analogue cheeses? What is enzyme-modified cheese?

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Cheese Problems Solved
edited by P.L.H. McSweeney
2007 • 424 pages • $268.95 + shipping
Texas residents please add 6.75 % sales tax

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