AUSTRALIA - Australian cheese makers expect more opportunities for their business through a microbiological research project.
This year the Australian Specialist Cheesemakers' Association (ASCA) and Dairy Innovation Australia Limited (DIAL) have commenced research to harvest the natural microbes from milk used to make artisan cheese.
The project name is the milk cultures trial. It involves capturing and DNA sequencing the naturally occurring microbes in the raw milk used by artisan cheesemakers, then turning those microbes into starter cultures that can be added back into the pasteurised milk used to make cheese. The trial milk arrives from the dairy herds of 4 farmhouse cheesemakers in Victoria – 2 bovine, 1 caprine and 1 ovine.
In June the cheesemakers has already gone through the initial results of the experiment and discussed which of the microbes might be of particular interest in making great cheese.
The cultures containing the harvested microbes will soon arrive back to cheesemakers, so they can be put to the test in cheese production.
Trial production of cheeses - some with the new cultures, and some with regular cultures – will give basis to compare the flavours, textures and other characteristics to evaluate the business potential of specially harvested cultures, explained ASCA.
Similar projects are underway in the USA. Jasper Hill Farm in the USA is also conducting a similar trial on the milk of their herd of Ayrshire cows.