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The questions below have been designed to test knowledge and understanding of cheese science and technology. They are based on an E-book that I will eventually incorporate into the site. In the meantime 'browsers' can test their knowledge and understanding of cheese technology by attempting the questions below. A link to most of the answers is also given at the end of the question section. 

Cheese science and technology questions.

1. Define the term cheese. 

2. List the major cheese varieties made in Europe and North America.

3. List the ingredients used in the manufacture of Cheddar and Feta cheeses.

4. Explain the role/importance/significance of the ingredients you listed in Cheddar and Feta cheese manufacture.

5. Explain the functions of a starter in cheese manufacture, and in cheese maturation. 6. List the main causes of starter failure in cheese manufacture.

7. Many types of cheesemaking can be described as processes for removing moisture from a rennet gel. This moisture removal process or whey expulsion is termed syneresis.

• List the major factors that influence syneresis.

8. The following questions are designed to test your understanding of the factors that influence syneresis in commercial cheese manufacturing situations.

• The moisture level in Cheddar cheese is too low. What can the cheesemaker do to increase moisture levels? 

• The moisture level in Cheshire cheese is too high. What can the cheesemaker do to bring the moisture level down?

9. Define the term:

• Cheese yield

Why is this term often corrected for moisture?

10. Name the major components in milk that contribute to cheese yield.

11. What does yield potential mean?

12. Theoretical yield can be obtained using a yield equation. A well known equation is the Van Slyke equation. State the Van Slyke equation.

Explain the meaning of the terms used and the assumptions implicit in the use of this equation. This equation can be shown to overestimate the yield of Cheddar cheese. Explain

13. Milk of 2.5% casein and 3.8% fat was used to produce Cheddar cheese of 36% moisture.

Calculate the theoretical yield of cheese expected from 1000 kg of this milk. TOP

14. If the actual yield of cheese was 10% lower than the theoretical yield what would be the significance of this finding?

15. How can you determine process efficiency in cheese manufacture?

16. List target retention values for. 

• Protein

• Fat

• Casein

in Cheddar cheese manufacture.

17. Why is milk for cheese manufacture standardised?

18. There are TWO main reasons why storing milk at refrigeration temperatures results in a yield decrease of ~ 0.6%/day. Explain.

• a. 

• b.

19. Coagulants can also influence yield. Explain.

20. List the compositional standards for Cheddar, Cheshire, Cottage and Camembert cheese.

21. Given that Cheddar cheese is produced using milk of 4.0 fat and 2.5% casein and is of 37% moisture. Calculate what effect adjusting the fat content of the milk (standardising) to

• 3.0% fat

• 3.2% fat

• 3.5% fat

would have on the FDM level in the cheese.

22. Casein constitutes ______% of milk protein?

23. What is the concentration of fat in

(a) unseparated whey =


b) separated whey =

from Cheddar manufacture?

24. What do you understand by mellowing?

25. How does mellowing influence cheese composition and yield?

26. Using an appropriate model explain the differences between Emmental, Cheddar, Cheshire and Gouda cheese.

27. What practical significance does the model approach discussed at 26 have in the development of new cheese varieties including understanding the technology used?

28. Lawrence and colleagues have developed a model which has been used to select New Zealand Cheddar cheese for maturation and subsequent export. Discuss how cheese quality has been assessed traditionally, the theoretical basis of the Lawrence model and outline how the model might be improved.

29. Explain how flavour is developed in Cheddar or Gouda cheese including the importance of starter cell lysis.

30. What makes some cheeses taste sweeter than others? How can 'sweetness' be developed? What are the product development implications of sweetness modification?

31. Discuss how you would develop a 'cheese variant' with a sweet Italian-cheese taste but having a gross chemical composition and a manufacturing process similar to Cheddar. Hint consider your answers to questions 26 and 27!

32. Explain how bitter off flavours sometimes develop in cheese.

33. Outline strategies to avoid bitterness.

34. Discuss the role of NSLAB in cheese.

35. Discuss how the growth of NSLAB can be controlled during cheese ripening

36. Explain the advantages of cheese mechanisation.

37. List the major mechanised systems for making Cheddar.

38. Draw a flow diagram of a mechanised cheesemaking system of your choice.

39. There are still several significant engineering challenges in designing mechanised cheesemaking systems. Explain how major manufacturers have tried to solve salting problems. How successful have they been? Can you suggest any design improvements?

40. What pressures are commonly used in cheese pressing? Use imperial and metric units.

41. How long is cheese pressed for?

42. List the major mechanised cheese pressing systems.

43. Draw a labelled diagram of a Blockformer.

What pressure is used? What is the purpose of the vacuum? How long is the cheese pressed?

44. The FSA in the UK has produced guidelines for salt intake. Why might these be of significance to cheesemakers?

View selected answers to cheese science and technology assessment. PLEASE read text below before accessing the selected answers. Note also that only selected questions have been answered.

Please note that while I have taken reasonable precautions to ensure that these freely available answers are factually correct I cannot be held responsible for any financial losses, or other negative consequences of this material being used by anyone, for whatever reason! Note the Ebook covers all the questions above, contains references to the literature; has more examples, diagrams and more emphasis on cheese development.



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