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Curd the Therapeutic: Preparation
Curd or Yoghurt has extensive therapeutic properties. Before we delve into the benefits of curd as a therapeutic, let’s get about preparing some.
We could choose between earthenware, steel or ceramic vessel for the preparation of curds. Earthenware would be the natural choice for it’s abilities in keeping the contents cool. Wash it thoroughly and keep it aside.
Boil a litre of milk in a steel container for about 8 to 10 minutes on a medium flame until the boiling point is reached. Reduce the flame and allow it to boil for some more time. Cut off the flame and allow the milk to attain lukewarm temperature. Transfer the contents to the earthenware container.
You could use a spoon of existing curd, just ensuring that it is not very sour, or, a spoon of starting culture. A spoon would suffice for a liter of milk. Stir the contents well so as to ensure uniform mixing.
The container could be covered with a loose lid and left untouched for 6 to 7 hours.
Warmer temperatures facilitates setting of curds easily, hence leave the container in a warmer place.
In colder conditions, especially winter it takes 12 hours or more for curds to set. In such conditions its best to cover the container in a blanket and left in a warm place.
Transfer the contents to a refrigerator after the curds has set. This would prevent further souring of the curd.
How is curd formed?
The coagulation of casein brought about by the acid with a pH of about 4.6 produced by lactic acid bacteria, under ample temperature conditions, leads to the making of curd.
Quality of the set curd
The quality of the set curd depends greatly upon the starter, whether starter culture or existing curd. The firmness of the texture, acidity and the sweetness of the aroma of the set curd decide its quality.
Necessity of species selection in a production unit
A large-scale production unit needs uniformity in terms of its output. The batches being produced should maintain consistency in terms of acidity, texture and flavor. The selection of species of lactic acid bacteria is again based on their abilities to produce lactic acid in a rapid fashion and also the flavor developed. A single species may be involved or sometimes more.