Browsing Food Programme End of Project Reports by Author "O'Brien, Bernadette"
Effects of Seasonal Variation in Milk Composition on the Quality of Pizza CheeseGuinee, Timothy P.; O'Brien, Bernadette; Kelly, Paul M; Connolly, J.F. (Teagasc, 1999-02-01)The main aims of this study were to investigate the effects of diet and lactation stage on the composition and cheesemaking quality of milk produced under controlled conditions. The main conclusions were as follows: These studies clearly demonstrated that the Recommended Moorepark Milk Production System in conjunction with an objectively standardised cheesemaking process provides a model for year round production of quality Mozzarella cheese. Databases have been established on the effects of diet quantity and quality, and stage of lactation on the composition, processability and cheesemaking characteristics of milk from both Spring- and Autumn-calving herds. Increasing the daily herbage allowance from 16 to 24 kgs DM/cow/day during mid-lactation, resulted in increases in the level of milk casein and cheese yield but had little influence on cheese functionality. Similarily improving diet quality in mid-lactation by reducing the stocking density from 4.3 to 3.8 cows/ha combined with concentrate supplementation (3 kgs/cow/day) had the same effect. Using milk from a Spring-calving herd, produced according to the Recommended Moorepark Milk Production System, in conjunction with an objectively-standardised Mozzarella cheesemaking process, no major problems were encountered during the lactation period 170 - 273 days from calving. Extending the lactation period of the Spring-calving herd from ~ 273 to 286 days resulted in higher cheese moisture (by ~ 2%), softer cheese, and lower chewiness in the melted cheese. A sharp decline in both total protein, casein and lactose in the milk was observed during this period. However the blending of this milk with milk of an Autumn-calving herd overcame these cheesemaking problems. The yield of low moisture Mozzarella cheese (using milks from Spring- or Autumn-calved herds) was positively correlated with milk casein level. The yield of cheese from the Spring-calved herd increased concomitantly with increasing casein level to day 273 of lactation and decreased thereafter as the casein concentration declined. In these studies it was found that easy-to-use tests such as lactose level in the milk and rennet coagulation properties as determined by Formagraph were useful indicators of the suitability of milk for cheesemaking. The Recommended Moorepark Milk Production System, as applied in the late lactation period, was characterised by a high plane of nutrition and a drying-off strategy which ensured a minimum daily milk yield per cow of 9 kg. It resulted in milk of good cheesemaking quality - lactose > 4.25%, and casein > 2.6% and satisfactory rennet coagulation properties - curd firming rate of > 0.15 min ¯¹ curd firmness at 60 min of > 45mm - at the end of lactation.