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This article is based on a paper, summarising many years of research, published in the International Journal of Dairy Technology. The paper “Mullan, W.M.A. (2000). Causes and control of early gas production in Cheddar cheese. International Journal of Dairy Technology. 53, 63-68” can be downloaded from the Wiley Interscience website. Since then the author has continued to work in this area and in particular with major Cheddar cheese manufacturers in the US. This newer work is not discussed in this article.
Currently many cheesemaking plants are experiencing open texture problems including unwanted slits/cracks in cheese due to unwanted gas production. Some of these problems are caused by the growth of thermophilic / thermoduric lactic acid bacteria in biofilms in pasteurizers. Normal caustic cleaning will not eliminate these and enhanced cleaning and sanitation procedures are required. While this contribution may not specifically deal with these problems this area can be discussed further in the forums.