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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 the cheesemaking process in part 2 of the IDF factsheet series on cheese and varieties.
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. Coagulum cutting size, curd heating conditions and pressing influence moisture content and texture. Often ripening by enzymes from milk, rennet, LAB and partly ripening microorganisms occurs to develop flavour and texture.