Small Ruminants Milk Cheese

The official specifications for licensing procedures and sanitary control of establishments producing both sheep and goat milk are determined by Decree 164/004 (MGAP 2010). According to Albenzio and Santillo (2011), in relation to milk from sheep and goats, the proteins and native enzymes influence directly in its ability to be processed and in the quality of dairy products. The characteristics of casein from sheep and goat milk are of particular interest due to the high degree of polymorphism which is linked to the properties of cheese making.

Of course, it is essential the compositional quality of raw milk and its biochemical characteristics; the technological treatment of milk, rennet process, curd production, ripening (in case required) represent a multiplicity of factors that affect, directly or indirectly, on the quality of these products. Each factor of this complex system is affected by the activity of enzymes originated from milk (i.e., native enzymes and microbiota), coagulants, and starter and no starter microbiota. It is important to recognize the proteolytic role of native and lipolytic enzymes in the capacity of cheese making and its effects during ripening. So there is a relationship with the characteristics achieved in terms of flavour, rheology, texture and functionality for each variety of cheese. All of them are involved in defining the quality of cheese and are related to the intensity of the ripening process in terms of proteolysis, lipolysis and glycolysis (Albenzio and Santillo 2011).

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