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IDF Factsheet 017/2021: Cheese and Varieties Part I: What is cheese?

Cheese is a ripened or unripened product made by coagulation of the proteins in milk through the action of rennet or another coagulant. Learn more about cheese in part 1 of this IDF factsheet.

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What is cheese? Cheese is a ripened or unripened product made by coagulation of the proteins in milk through the action of rennet or another coagulant. Dehydration, often fermentation by lactic acid bacteria (LAB) and salt addition during cheese manufacture increase its shelf-life. Cheese contains the main milk protein casein, milk fat, the mineral calcium phosphate, about 36-43% water, lactic acid and 1.5% salt for a hard cheese.

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IDF provides a permanent source of authoritative scientific and other information on a whole range of topics relevant to the dairy sector.