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Origin and Classification of Cheese

Updated on June 2, 2010

It takes several liters of milk to make 1 kg of cheese due to the loss of large amounts of water during processing (depending on which type of cheese). Thanks to all the important nutrients that cheese gives us. Cheese should always be included in a healthy and balanced diet, but must be consumed in moderation.

What is Cheese?

According to the FDA, cheese is defined as a fresh or old product, solid or semi-solid, obtained from the coagulation of milk (through the action of rennet or other coagulant, with or without previous hydrolysis of lactose) and after separation of serum.

Milk commonly used in making cheese is of cows (whole or skim) which gives a softer flavor of cheese and that of goat or sheep (in Mediterranean areas). In developing a specialized cheese, buffalo milk is used.

Cabrales cheese is a type of special mixed milk cheese which is made by using a mixture of milk from sheep, goats, and cows.

The milk fat is the nutrient that mostly affects the taste of cheese. Whole milk is richer in fat, but in some cases to reduce the fat content from cheese, skimmed milk can be used, which finally also reduces the taste of the product.

Cheese in different shapes
Cheese in different shapes

Origin of Cheese

Origin of cheese is not very accurate but can be estimated between years 8000 BC and 3000 BC. Archaeological proof confirms that its use in ancient Egypt dates back to 2300 BC. It is said by ancient historians that Europe started production of cheese thereby making it a popular consumer product. Thanks to the great European empire that gradually cheese became popular all over the world. In 1815, Switzerland opened the first factory for the industrial production of cheese.

Classification of Cheese

It is very difficult to make a strict classification of cheese due to the wide range of cheese available in the market nowadays, but according to the FDA, cheese is classified according to the process of development and milk fat content percentage.

Depending on the process:

  • Fresh and pasteurized white cheese: Fresh cheese is one that is ready to eat after the clarification process and the white cheese or pasteurized fresh is subjected to pasteurization and then marketed.
  • Fermented Cheese: Cheese that is produced after being required to stay for a certain time at a temperature and other conditions that may generate certain physical changes and/or chemical characteristics that are necessary for fermentation is known as fermented cheese.

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    • profile image

      Comfort 

      6 years ago

      Thnks 4 d informatin. God bless u

    • profile image

      Ben 

      7 years ago

      Weird.

    • K9keystrokes profile image

      India Arnold 

      7 years ago from Northern, California

      Great hub!

    • profile image

      debbie villa 

      7 years ago

      i really love to use cheese instead of using cooking oil when i have to cook an omelet egg..because it taste more delicious and make the omelet look more palatable because of its not too oily appearance..thanks for the info.=)

    • soni2006 profile imageAUTHOR

      Rajinder Soni 

      8 years ago from New Delhi, India

      I love it too instead of milk, I eat paneer (cheese) dishes in India. Thanks a lot for your visit and comment Mitch Claude.

    • profile image

      mitch claude 

      8 years ago

      i really like cheese.,.,

    • soni2006 profile imageAUTHOR

      Rajinder Soni 

      8 years ago from New Delhi, India

      I don't have any allergy to cheese but I have serious allergy to milk and eggs.

    • vox vocis profile image

      Jasmine 

      8 years ago

      I love cheese, but can't eat any due to allergies :-(

    • soni2006 profile imageAUTHOR

      Rajinder Soni 

      8 years ago from New Delhi, India

      Thanks for the comment Mrs. Smith.

    • ethel smith profile image

      Ethel Smith 

      8 years ago from Kingston-Upon-Hull

      Well I love chesse but did not know much of that. Thanks

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