Mastering Milk Coagulation

The CoaguSens™ Flex and Connect series are testing instruments specifically designed for the dairy industry to measure milk gel firmness during coagulation. 

Explore the applications below and see how the CoaguSens™ Flex and Connect are used to master milk coagulation, to stabilize curd cutting firmness and to, finally, optimize cheese yield and moisture.

This application note describes a study performed at the cheese pilot plant of the R&D center of the Canadian department of agriculture & agri-food (Agriculture & Agri-Food Canada) in Saint-Hyacinthe (QC, Canada). The study aimed to measure the influence of the curd firmness and coagulation speed at the time of cutting on the retention rates of fat, protein and solids in cheddar cheese. The CoaguSens™ Connect (Rheolution Inc, Canada) was used to conduct this study.

Parameters such as temperature, pH, coagulant dosage, protein content and calcium chloride influence the way milk coagulates. Real time data provided by CoaguSens™ Flex help understanding and controlling the influence of technological parameters on coagulation kinetics and consequently on yield.

Cheese is obtained by coagulation of milk and subsequent separation of the milk gel into liquid (whey) and solid (curd) phases. An essential step of the cheesemaking process involves cutting the formed milk gel into small cubes to allow whey separation by increasing curd surface/volume ratio. Cutting time selection greatly affects the yield, moisture and quality of cheese. Cutting the gel too soon when the curd is not firm enough leads to lower cheese yield through increased curd fines and fat loss, whereas delayed cutting results in higher cheese moisture content due to reduced collapse of the gel.

Cheese is obtained from coagulating milk by separating the milk gel into solid curds and liquid whey. The milk gel is cut into small cubes to increase curds surface/volume ratio and allow whey expelling from curds, a phenomenon called syneresis. The objective of any cheesemaker is to optimize the retention of fat and proteins in cheese while the level of moisture is maintained at a controlled level.