Case study

This section contains the results of an actual investigation of an apparent reduction in the yield of Cheddar cheese made in October of year X compared with the same month a year previously. 

Five  vats of cheese were manufactured in the factory and the milk and cheese were subject to chemical analysis. The samples were analysed at a reputable laboratory.

The following data (Table 1) for milk, cheese and yield (adjusted per 100 kg of milk) were obtained.

A Northern Ireland perspective

Similar to all farmers throughout Europe, Northern Ireland dairy farmers find themselves in a new era in agriculture. This has been fashioned by EU policy seeking both environmental and rural sustainability. Future farm profitability will be dictated by the market place.

Free market economics always seek to maximise returns against the most limiting resource. Therefore milk producers must make decisions on the system and scale of enterprise mix, taking into account what is limiting efficient production on their own farm.

There are two routes to remain competitive, either produce milk cheaper than others or target quality milk for high value markets. For Northern Ireland the first road is not an option due to lack of industry scale. Therefore quality milk must be delivered competitively to the processor who meets customer expectations with profits shared equitably along the supply chain.

By ensuring they are adhering to ethical production systems, farmers allow consumers to enjoy milk or dairy products and the clean and diverse countryside in which it was produced. This policy is essential and can secure an improved and sustainable return from the market place - but there must be trust and true integration within the supply chain.

Following the introduction of milk quotas in 1984 a limit was placed on potential expansion on the majority of dairy farms. However due to a combination of accessibility, profitability and farmer ability the milk quota held on Northern farms has increased by almost 40 per cent over the past 12 years. This, combined to the additional allocation of 1.5 % of milk quota to the UK as part of the Mid Term Review, has ensured a plentiful supply of quota. Current low purchase and lease prices mean that quotas are unlikely to restrict future expansion.

This section contains summary information on modified atmosphere packaging. More comprehensive treatment is available in a chapter on modified atmosphere packaging, written by the author and Derek McDowell, in the book Food Packaging Technology. Derek McDowell is Head of Supply and Packaging at Loughry Campus and is a packaging specialist.

Summary in Italian

Nel Mondo vi è un elevato numero di bevande ottenute dalla fermentazione alcolica di liquidi zuccherini quali succhi vegetali, miele, latte ecc., ma le più importanti per diffusione e quantità prodotte sono senza dubbio il vino, la birra ed il sidro. Lo scopo di questo breve articolo è quello di riassumere la storia e la tecnologia produttiva di una di queste bevande, ottenuta dalla fermentazione dell'uva, il vino. Conosciuto già dagli Egizi, il vino ha accompagnato con alterne vicende l'uomo in tutta la sua storia, divenendo nella cultura cristiana simbolo, con il pane, dell'unione stessa con Dio. Prodotto in quasi tutto il modo anche in virtù dell'ampio areale di coltivazione dell'uva, il vino si presenta al consumatore in varie tipologie (rosso, bianco, rosato, dolce, secco, spumante ecc.) volte ad interpretare al meglio le caratteristiche della materia prima ed a soddisfare le esigenze del consumatore stesso. Alla base di queste diverse tipologie di prodotti vi sono altrettante tecnologie venutesi a definire nei secoli ed i cui aspetti fondamentali vengono descritti in queste pagine con la speranza di stimolare il lettore ad approfondirne lo studio sui numerosi testi specialistici attualmente disponibili.


There is a wide range of alcoholic beverages obtained by the fermentation of sweet liquids (vegetable juices, honey, milk) but the most important are wine, beer and cider. Wine is an alcoholic beverage produced by the fermentation of the juice of fruits, usually grapes, although other fruits such as plum, banana, elderberry or blackcurrant may also be fermented and used to obtain products named "wine". In this short article the word "wine" refers to the product obtained from grapes. This product is probably the most ancient fermented beverage and was mentioned in the Bible and in other documents from Asiatic peoples. Exactly where wine was first made is still unclear. It could have been anywhere in the vast region, stretching from Portugal to Central Asia, where wild grapes grow. However, the first large-scale production of Commercial grape production
wine must have been where grapes were first domesticated, Southern Caucasus and the Near East. In Egypt, wine played an important role in ancient ceremonies and winemaking scenes are represented on tomb walls. Outside Egypt much of the ancient Middle Eastern peoples preferred beer as a daily drink rather than wine. However, wine was well-know especially near the Mediterranean coast and was used in the rituals of the Jewish people. The Greeks introduced wine to Europe and spread the art of grape-growing and winemaking across the Mediterranean hence modern wine culture probably  derives from the ancient Greeks. Wine

was known to both the Minoan and Mycenaean cultures and referred to as "Juice of the Gods". Dionysus was the Greek god of wine and wine was frequently mentioned in Homer's and Aesop's operas. Many of the grapes grown in Greece are grown nowhere else and are similar or identical to varieties grown in ancient times. Greek wine was widely known and exported throughout the Mediterranean basin, and amphorae for Greek wines have been found extensively in this area.

Test your knowledge and understanding of cheese science and technology

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. Professor Arthur Hill's E-book on Cheese is also a major free resource and is available at .

Cheese science and technology questions.

I would be pleased to receive food science and technology-related material that would benefit students and technical people working in the food industry.

Submit articles by Email to the webmaster at this site's URL ( Please read the following advice before submitting an article. Note advertising without any significant scientific or technical content will not be accepted. I have no problem with company information being provided but articles must contain the underpinning science and technology to justify company information being accepted for publication.

The Dairy Science and Food Technology website is aimed at both undergraduate and postgraduate students studying dairy and food technology or people working in the food industry.

Please aim the technical/scientific difficult level so that final year 'honours' students should be able to understand what you have written.

Authoritative articles suitable for the general public on 'food-related matters are also welcome.

Format of contributions
The text should be typed using double spacing. Please use Verdana as the font and font size of 12. Embed images in your file. Please ensure that no image has a file size greater than 50 kb. Only embed .gif or .jpg/jpeg image files. Please retain the original image files in case these may be required later.
All tables and figures must have a caption and should be understandable without reference to the text; captions at the top for tables and at the bottom for figures or photographs. Additionally, the legends for axes must be 'readable' on-screen- minimum font size of 12 must be used. 

Click on a name below to send an Email message.






Dr. Michael Mullan

Site coordinator and owner, Northern Ireland



Dr. Kalpana Dixit

PhD student, National Dairy Research Institute, India



Dr. D. N. Gandhi

Principal Scientist (Dairy Microbiology), National Dairy Research Institute, India



Dr. Alan Mullan

Research Scientist, Northern Ireland



Dr. Nupur Goyal

Lecturer Biotechnology Department, ICFAI Tech University, India



Dr. Emily Haque

PhD student, National Dairy Research Institute, India



Dr. Rattan Chand

Principal Scientist (Dairy Microbiology), National Dairy Research Institute, India



Dr. Cecilia Hegarty

Lecturer in Entrepreneurship, University of Ulster, Northern Ireland



Mr. Ian McCluggage

Head of Dairying & Pigs Development Branch,CAFRE, DARD, Northern Ireland



Prof. Giuseppe Zeppa

Researcher in Food Technology, Di.Va.P.R.A., Turin University, Italy



Ms Claire Towley

Marketing Executive, Chr. Hansen(UK) Ltd, England

+441488 689800


Mr Jaap de Jonge

Jongia (UK) Ltd., England

+44121 7444844

This page provides access to an interactive spreadsheet in which data for the chemical composition of milk and cheese and actual yields can be recorded. The software will then calculate theoretical yield, process efficiency, key compositional criteria and provide a basic statistical analysis of the results. Real data have been provided and these can be replaced with test data to use the spreadsheet.

This software could be used with the cheese yield problem provided along with the overview of how the problem might be investigated to teach the principles of process control in cheese manufacture.


Go to interactive spreadsheet.


We use cookies to improve our website and your experience when using it. Cookies used for the essential operation of the site have already been set. To find out more about the cookies we use and how to delete them, see our Privacy Policy.

I accept cookies from this site