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Chapter 3 : Cheese Classification, Characterization, and Categorization: A Global Perspective

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Abstract:

Cheese is one of the most complex, fascinating, and diverse foods enjoyed today. Certainly, the characteristics and activity of the specific starters and adjunct cultures selected for each variety contribute to the complexity and diversity of cheeses. In addition to the microbiological aspects, features contributing to the diversity and differentiation of cheese include the variability among fundamental processing and aging characteristics that influence both the chemical composition of the fresh cheese and its enzymatic potential during ripening. The fundamental cheesemaking factors include (i) method of coagulation used to transform the original cheesemaking milk into a gel or coagulum (e.g., acid versus rennet); (ii) acidification characteristics (both rate and time), from the point of setting the milk up through the manufacture of the young or fresh cheese, which define the mineralization level of the casein but also moisture loss; and (iii) additional steps during the cheesemaking process controlling moisture levels of the young cheese (e.g., cooking temperature and pressing and salting conditions). Also, in the case of ripened cheeses, it is important to consider the characteristics of the ripening conditions (temperature, relative humidity, and rates of O, CO, and NH) that ultimately influence the character and diversity of cheese microfloras.

Citation: Almena-Aliste M, Mietton B. 2014. Cheese Classification, Characterization, and Categorization: A Global Perspective, p 39-71. In Donnelly C (ed), Cheese and Microbes. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/microbiolspec.CM-0003-2012

Key Concept Ranking

Soft Cheese
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Figures

Image of Figure 1
Figure 1

Cheese classification by Lenoir et al. ( ), showing the diversity of cheese technologies in France. The asterisks indicate terms added to the translation of the original diagram in French, to avoid technological confusion when translating the term (literally meaning “soft cheese” but technically referring to a type of cheese technology that does not involve any pressing during the cheesemaking process). doi:10.1128/microbiolspec.CM-0003-2012.f1

Citation: Almena-Aliste M, Mietton B. 2014. Cheese Classification, Characterization, and Categorization: A Global Perspective, p 39-71. In Donnelly C (ed), Cheese and Microbes. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/microbiolspec.CM-0003-2012
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Image of Figure 2a
Figure 2a

Didactic scheme showing the different cheese technologies in terms of fundamental technological and microbiological characteristics. PNCC, pressed noncooked cheese; PSCC, pressed semicooked cheese; PCC, pressed cooked cheese; PFC, pasta filata cheese. doi:10.1128/microbiolspec.CM-0003-2012.f2

Citation: Almena-Aliste M, Mietton B. 2014. Cheese Classification, Characterization, and Categorization: A Global Perspective, p 39-71. In Donnelly C (ed), Cheese and Microbes. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/microbiolspec.CM-0003-2012
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Image of Figure 2b
Figure 2b

Didactic scheme showing the different cheese technologies in terms of fundamental technological and microbiological characteristics. PNCC, pressed noncooked cheese; PSCC, pressed semicooked cheese; PCC, pressed cooked cheese; PFC, pasta filata cheese. doi:10.1128/microbiolspec.CM-0003-2012.f2

Citation: Almena-Aliste M, Mietton B. 2014. Cheese Classification, Characterization, and Categorization: A Global Perspective, p 39-71. In Donnelly C (ed), Cheese and Microbes. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/microbiolspec.CM-0003-2012
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Image of Figure 3
Figure 3

Scheme modeling the development of the main types of curds (lactic, enzymatic, and mixed) based on the dynamics and intensity of acidification and the drainage during the cheesemaking process as described by Mietton et al. ( ). doi:10.1128/microbiolspec.CM-0003-2012.f3

Citation: Almena-Aliste M, Mietton B. 2014. Cheese Classification, Characterization, and Categorization: A Global Perspective, p 39-71. In Donnelly C (ed), Cheese and Microbes. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/microbiolspec.CM-0003-2012
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Figure 4

Technological cheese classification ( ). doi:10.1128/microbiolspec.CM-0003-2012.f4

Citation: Almena-Aliste M, Mietton B. 2014. Cheese Classification, Characterization, and Categorization: A Global Perspective, p 39-71. In Donnelly C (ed), Cheese and Microbes. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/microbiolspec.CM-0003-2012
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Figure 5

Cheese as an ecosystem model ( ). doi:10.1128/microbiolspec.CM-0003-2012.f5

Citation: Almena-Aliste M, Mietton B. 2014. Cheese Classification, Characterization, and Categorization: A Global Perspective, p 39-71. In Donnelly C (ed), Cheese and Microbes. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/microbiolspec.CM-0003-2012
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Figure 6

Principal sources of diversity in pressed uncooked cheeses. Cheese classifications follow the ( ). doi:10.1128/microbiolspec.CM-0003-2012.f6

Citation: Almena-Aliste M, Mietton B. 2014. Cheese Classification, Characterization, and Categorization: A Global Perspective, p 39-71. In Donnelly C (ed), Cheese and Microbes. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/microbiolspec.CM-0003-2012
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Figure 7

Schematic classification of pasta filata cheeses, including technological and compositional characteristics. Symbols indicate the level of residual sugars on the final product: +++, important; ++, moderate; +, low; *, variable depending on lactic acid bacterial activity. doi:10.1128/microbiolspec.CM-0003-2012.f7

Citation: Almena-Aliste M, Mietton B. 2014. Cheese Classification, Characterization, and Categorization: A Global Perspective, p 39-71. In Donnelly C (ed), Cheese and Microbes. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/microbiolspec.CM-0003-2012
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Figure 8

Effects of salt content and a on microbial development. doi:10.1128/microbiolspec.CM-0003-2012.f8

Citation: Almena-Aliste M, Mietton B. 2014. Cheese Classification, Characterization, and Categorization: A Global Perspective, p 39-71. In Donnelly C (ed), Cheese and Microbes. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/microbiolspec.CM-0003-2012
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Figure 9

Sensory profiles of different unpressed uncooked cheeses (bloomy-rind and washed-rind varieties) from France and the United States. doi:10.1128/microbiolspec.CM-0003-2012.f9

Citation: Almena-Aliste M, Mietton B. 2014. Cheese Classification, Characterization, and Categorization: A Global Perspective, p 39-71. In Donnelly C (ed), Cheese and Microbes. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/microbiolspec.CM-0003-2012
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Figure 10

Sensory profiles of different unpressed uncooked cheeses (blue cheese varieties) from France and the United States. doi:10.1128/microbiolspec.CM-0003-2012.f10

Citation: Almena-Aliste M, Mietton B. 2014. Cheese Classification, Characterization, and Categorization: A Global Perspective, p 39-71. In Donnelly C (ed), Cheese and Microbes. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/microbiolspec.CM-0003-2012
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Image of Figure 11
Figure 11

Examples of sensory profiles of two varieties of pressed uncooked cheese (Tomme style) from France and the United States. doi:10.1128/microbiolspec.CM-0003-2012.f11

Citation: Almena-Aliste M, Mietton B. 2014. Cheese Classification, Characterization, and Categorization: A Global Perspective, p 39-71. In Donnelly C (ed), Cheese and Microbes. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/microbiolspec.CM-0003-2012
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Figure 12

Sensory profiles of two varieties of pressed cooked cheese from France and the United States at two different aging times. doi:10.1128/microbiolspec.CM-0003-2012.f12

Citation: Almena-Aliste M, Mietton B. 2014. Cheese Classification, Characterization, and Categorization: A Global Perspective, p 39-71. In Donnelly C (ed), Cheese and Microbes. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/microbiolspec.CM-0003-2012
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Image of Figure 13
Figure 13

Categories and subcategories for the ACS competition system. Categories Q (cultured milk products) and R (butter) are not shown. doi:10.1128/microbiolspec.CM-0003-2012.f13

Citation: Almena-Aliste M, Mietton B. 2014. Cheese Classification, Characterization, and Categorization: A Global Perspective, p 39-71. In Donnelly C (ed), Cheese and Microbes. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/microbiolspec.CM-0003-2012
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Image of Figure 13
Figure 13

Categories and subcategories for the ACS competition system. Categories Q (cultured milk products) and R (butter) are not shown. doi:10.1128/microbiolspec.CM-0003-2012.f13

Citation: Almena-Aliste M, Mietton B. 2014. Cheese Classification, Characterization, and Categorization: A Global Perspective, p 39-71. In Donnelly C (ed), Cheese and Microbes. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/microbiolspec.CM-0003-2012
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Figure 14

Relevance of the different ACS cheese categories, based on average data from 2005 to 2010, as well as data from 2010 alone. doi:10.1128/microbiolspec.CM-0003-2012.f14

Citation: Almena-Aliste M, Mietton B. 2014. Cheese Classification, Characterization, and Categorization: A Global Perspective, p 39-71. In Donnelly C (ed), Cheese and Microbes. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/microbiolspec.CM-0003-2012
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Image of Figure 15
Figure 15

Difference in growth for each ACS cheese category between 2005 and 2010. doi:10.1128/microbiolspec.CM-0003-2012.f15

Citation: Almena-Aliste M, Mietton B. 2014. Cheese Classification, Characterization, and Categorization: A Global Perspective, p 39-71. In Donnelly C (ed), Cheese and Microbes. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/microbiolspec.CM-0003-2012
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References

/content/book/10.1128/9781555818593.chap3
1. Fox PF,, Guinee TP,, Cogan TM,, McSweeney PLH . 2000. Fundamentals of Cheese Science, p 388428. Aspen Publishers, Inc, Gaithersburg, MD.
2. McSweeney PLH,, Ottogalli G,, Fox PF, . 2004. Diversity of cheese varieties: an overview, p 122. In Fox PF,, McSweeney PLH,, Cogan TM,, Guinee TP (ed), Cheese Chemistry, Physics and Microbiology, vol 2. Major Cheese Groups, 3rd ed. Elsevier Academic Press, San Diego, CA.
3. Nöel Y . 2002. Vers une approche globale de la characterization des fromages. INRA-ENITAC Agriculture et produits alimentaires de montagne. Collection Actes 8 : 8589.
4. Nöel Y,, Mazerolles G,, Grappin R . 2000. La caractérisation des fromages vers une approche globale, integrée, multi-variables et modulable. Ind Aliment Agric 117 : 5052.
5. Lenoir J,, Lambert G,, Schmidt JL,, Tourneur C . 1985. La maîtrise du bioréacteur fromage. Biofutur 41 : 2350.
6. Nöel Y,, Lefier D . 1991. Factors affecting the consistency of ripened soft and semi-soft cheese. Bull IDF 268 : 4448.
7. Almena M,, Cepeda A,, Noël Y . 2001. Cheeses of Spain: classification and description. J Dairy Sci 84 : 309.
8. Sperat-Czar A,, Mietton B . 2003. Des fromages au lait cru. Profession Fromager 2 : 67.
9. Mietton B . 1991. Courses on Cheesemaking Technology. National Dairy School of Poligny, Poligny, France.
10. Ottogalli G . 2000. A global comparative method for the classification of world cheeses (with special reference to microbiological criteria). Revised edition. Ann Microbiol 50 : 151155.
11. Ottogalli G . 1998. A global comparative method for the classification of world cheeses (with special reference to microbiological criteria). Ann Microbiol Enzimol 48 : 3158.
12. Mietton B,, Weber F,, Desmazeaud M,, de Roissart H, . 1994. Transformation du lait en fromage, p 55133. In de Roissart H,, Luquet FM (ed), Bactéries lactiques, Aspects fondamentaux et technologiques, vol 2. Lorica, Uriage, Paris, France.
13. Mietton B,, Gaucheron F,, Salaün-Michel F, . 2004. Minéraux et transformations fromagères, p 471559. In Gaucheron F (ed), Mineraux et produits laitiers. TEC & DOC, Paris, France.
14. Kindstedt PS, . 2005. Cheesemaking in the New World: the American experience, p 1736. In Kindstedt PS (ed), American Farmstead Cheese. Chelsea Green Publishing Co, White River Junction, VT.
15. Ministerio de Agricultura, Pesca y Alimentación, Dirección General de Política Alimentaria . 1990. Catálogo de quesos de España. Ministerio de Agricultura, Pesca y Alimentación, Madrid, Spain.
16. Lawrence RC,, Gilles J . 1980. The assessment of the potential quality of young Cheddar cheese. N Z J Dairy Sci Technol 8 : 148151.
17. Fox PF,, Guinee TP,, Cogan TM,, McSweeney PLH . 2000. Fundamentals of Cheese Science, p 341348. Aspen Publishers, Inc, Gaithersburg, MD.
18. Codex Alimentarius Commission . 1978. Codex General Standard for Cheese. Codex standard 283-1978. Codex Alimentarius Commission, Rome, Italy.

Tables

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TABLE 1

Adapted cheese classification from Ottogalli's model ( ) incorporating examples of Vermont cheeses and including new and/or modified categories

Citation: Almena-Aliste M, Mietton B. 2014. Cheese Classification, Characterization, and Categorization: A Global Perspective, p 39-71. In Donnelly C (ed), Cheese and Microbes. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/microbiolspec.CM-0003-2012
Generic image for table
TABLE 2

Principal physicochemical characteristics of fresh cheese (at unhooping) from three types of models described in Fig. 3

Citation: Almena-Aliste M, Mietton B. 2014. Cheese Classification, Characterization, and Categorization: A Global Perspective, p 39-71. In Donnelly C (ed), Cheese and Microbes. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/microbiolspec.CM-0003-2012
Generic image for table
TABLE 3

Chemical composition of different cheeses representing different lactic/enzymatic character at two different times (after unhooping and after ripening)

Citation: Almena-Aliste M, Mietton B. 2014. Cheese Classification, Characterization, and Categorization: A Global Perspective, p 39-71. In Donnelly C (ed), Cheese and Microbes. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/microbiolspec.CM-0003-2012
Generic image for table
TABLE 4

Classification and principal characteristics of unpressed-uncooked cheese technologies (including soft and blue cheeses)

Citation: Almena-Aliste M, Mietton B. 2014. Cheese Classification, Characterization, and Categorization: A Global Perspective, p 39-71. In Donnelly C (ed), Cheese and Microbes. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/microbiolspec.CM-0003-2012
Generic image for table
TABLE 5

Descriptive classification of blue cheeses

Citation: Almena-Aliste M, Mietton B. 2014. Cheese Classification, Characterization, and Categorization: A Global Perspective, p 39-71. In Donnelly C (ed), Cheese and Microbes. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/microbiolspec.CM-0003-2012
Generic image for table
TABLE 6

Classification and principal characteristics of pressed uncooked cheeses

Citation: Almena-Aliste M, Mietton B. 2014. Cheese Classification, Characterization, and Categorization: A Global Perspective, p 39-71. In Donnelly C (ed), Cheese and Microbes. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/microbiolspec.CM-0003-2012
Generic image for table
TABLE 7

Principal characteristics of different styles of pressed semicooked and cooked cheeses

Citation: Almena-Aliste M, Mietton B. 2014. Cheese Classification, Characterization, and Categorization: A Global Perspective, p 39-71. In Donnelly C (ed), Cheese and Microbes. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/microbiolspec.CM-0003-2012

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