by Dirk Kuckelsberg, senior application specialist
Does your pizza cheese always make the grade? We apply the latest knowhow for quality improvement.
Choosing the right cheese is critical to securing the stretchy, mild-flavoured layer that many consumers associate with a deliciously indulgent pizza. As every cheese manufacturer knows, a big part of that consistent performance is down to the culture used in cheese manufacturing.
Starter cultures are an important focus area for us in our dairy labs. When developing culture solutions for pizza cheese, our goal is to secure consistent cheese elasticity, flavour and melting behaviour – the very qualities that give the final product its appeal. The culture, milk quality and processing conditions each play an equal role in achieving the desired, uniform quality from batch-to-batch.
As far as the culture is concerned, a constant acidification process is one way to limit quality variations. This implies controlling the demineralisation of the cheese milk so the characteristic flavour and texture develop in the shortest possible time, optimising processing efficiency.
Supported by a university collaboration, our latest knowhow in bacteriophage mechanisms has made it possible to reinforce specific cultures against the bacteriophages that compromise the acidification process and cheese sensory profile. In this way, we have been able to take a next step towards reduced quality variability.
Using these cultures, pizza cheese production can reach an even higher level of batch repeatability with strong acidification performance.
Cheese manufacturers gain a smoother, faster acidification process. Pizza manufacturers gain a pizza cheese that, time after time, melts reliably into a succulent, homogeneous layer – just as the consumer expects.