Blue Cheese

Blue Cheese

Blue cheeses undergo complex fermentation and maturation processes mainly mediated by lactic acid bacteria and fungi. Penicillium roqueforti is a common secondary starter culture for blue-veined cheese manufacture and largely contributes to the characteristic blue cheese flavor and color of the final product, although fungi other than P. roqueforti may occur in artisanal style blue-veined cheeses. Penicillium roqueforti is particularly well adapted to the conditions encountered during blue cheese manufacture including low oxygen levels and temperatures. This species is also actively involved in lipolysis and proteolysis and produces many volatile and nonvolatile aroma compounds among which methylketones are the most abundant. Penicillium roqueforti produces about a dozen secondary metabolites some of which, like PR-toxin, are toxic and may represent a problem for human health. Others, like roquefortines C and D, are well known, but they do not pose health problems. Andrastins are antitumor molecules and are present in significant concentrations in blue-veined cheeses and mycophenolic acid is an antifungal agents, clinically used as an immunosuppressant. Advances in molecular genetics and metabolite biosynthesis allow us to understand how they are synthesized and secreted by P. roqueforti. The possibility of using high-quality P. roqueforti strains unable to produce toxic secondary metabolites in cheese is of great interest.

Blue Mold Cheese

Abstract

Blue mold cheeses are made all over the world, and the four best known are Danablu, Gorgonzola, Roquefort, and Stilton. The typical appearance of the different varieties depends on the development of Penicillium roqueforti during ripening. The microflora is complex, comprising both lactic acid bacteria and yeast, and influences this development, which also depends on changes in water activity and salt content as well as on the concentration of oxygen and carbon dioxide. Proteolysis and lipolysis are enhanced as compared to other cheeses, and flavor compounds are formed from amino acid catabolism as well as fat breakdown. Methyl ketones, especially 2-heptanone and 2-nonanone, and short-chained fatty acids, especially hexanoic and octanoic acids, contribute significantly to the typical flavor of blue mold cheese.

Blue Cheese

Mette Dines Cantor , . Ylva Ardö , in Cheese (Fourth Edition) , 2017

Abstract

Blue or blue-veined cheeses are characterized by growth of the mold Penicillium roqueforti , giving them their typical appearance and flavor. Blue cheese is produced in many countries all over the world, where their own types of blue cheeses have been developed, each with different characteristics and involving different manufacturing methods.

This chapter aims to review the knowledge on different aspects of blue cheese ripening, emphasizing changes in the microenvironment, for example, pH and salt gradients within the cheese matrix; the microorganisms that contribute to ripening and their interactions, that is, lactic acid bacteria, mold, and yeasts; and the various biochemical changes, that is, lipolysis, proteolysis, and aroma formation and the effect on the texture and consistency of the ripened cheese. Potential mycotoxin production is also covered. Finally, thoughts on the selection of appropriate starter and mold cultures, as well as new, possible adjunct cultures, will be discussed.

Blue cheese

Y. Ardö , . Y. Ardö , in Cheese Problems Solved , 2007

Publisher Summary

Blue cheeses get their typical appearance and flavor from growth of the blue mould Penicillium roqueforti. Several different varieties of Blue cheese have been developed over time, each with its own characteristics involving milk of different animals and different manufacturing methods. Worldwide, the best-known blue-veined cheese varieties are Gorgonzola, Roquefort, Stilton, and Danablu. The body of a blue-veined cheese is white or yellowish with blue-green channels and veins after the growth and sporulation of the mould within the piercing channels and over cavities of the cheese. Blue cheeses made from ewe's milk are whiter than those made from cow's milk. The consistency of Blue cheese is at first brittle and crumbly, but becomes softer and spreadable as ripening advances. The typical flavor of Blue cheese is sharp and piquant as a result of the activities of mould enzymes on milk fat (lipolysis) during ripening, producing free short-chained fatty acids and methyl ketones. Also, esters and lactones contribute to the large variation in the typical flavor of different Blue cheese varieties.

Diversity and Classification of Cheese Varieties: An Overview

Paul L.H. McSweeney , . Patrick F. Fox , in Cheese (Fourth Edition) , 2017

Blue Cheese

Blue cheese varieties ( Chapter 37 ) are characterized by blue/green veins throughout the cheese caused by the growth of P. roqueforti. The milk for these varieties is coagulated by rennet extract; the curds are acidified using a mesophilic lactic culture and are cooked at a low temperature before being transferred to molds. Some varieties of blue cheese are salted by repeated surface application of dry NaCl, while others are brine-salted. The salted cheeses are ripened at a temperature and relative humidity which favor mold growth. As P. roqueforti requires O2 for growth, the texture of Blue cheese must be open to allow the fungal spores and hyphae to germinate and grow. This open texture is achieved by encouraging mechanical openings during manufacture (by not pressing the curds after molding) and by piercing the cheeses with needles (by hand or a special machine). The ripening of Blue cheese is characterized by extensive lipolysis. Blue cheeses have a soft texture and a strong flavor dominated by n-methyl ketones which are produced by the mold from fatty acids. Blue cheese varieties include Bleu d’Auvergne, Cabrales, Gorgonzola, Danablu (Danish Blue), and Stilton, all of which are made from cows’ milk, and Roquefort which is made using sheep’s milk.

Blue Mold Cheese☆

Introduction

The typical appearance of the blue mold cheeses (also called blue-veined cheeses or simply blue cheeses ) is due to the growth and sporulation of the mold Penicillium roqueforti. Many countries and regions have developed their own types of blue mold cheeses, each with its own characteristics and manufacturing procedures. The best-known types worldwide are the Italian Gorgonzola, the French Roquefort, the British Stilton, and the Danish Danablu ( Table 1 ). Production of blue mold cheeses has a long history. The manufacture of Gorgonzola and Roquefort was documented more than a thousand years ago, Stilton is mentioned in literature from the 17th century, and production of Danablu started in the 1870s. This chapter summaries information on manufacture, microstructure, microflora, ripening and flavor of blue mold cheese with reference to the comprehensive reviews of Gripon (1993) and Cantor et al. (2017) .

Table 1 . Examples of internationally important blue mold cheese varieties with arbitrary gross composition

NameOriginMilkMoisture (%)FDM (%)
DanabluDenmarkThermized bovine milk4455
GorgonzolaItalyPasteurized bovine milk4855
RoquefortFranceRaw ovine milk4452
StiltonEnglandPasteurized bovine milk4158

FDM, fat in dry matter.

Cheese | Blue Mold Cheese

Introduction

The typical appearance of the blue mold cheese varieties (also called blue-veined cheeses or simply blue cheeses ) is due to the growth and development of the mold Penicillium roqueforti. Many countries and regions have developed their own types of blue mold cheeses, each with different characteristics and involving different manufacturing procedures. The best-known types worldwide are the Italian Gorgonzola, the French Roquefort, the British Stilton, and the Danish Danablu, all of which have been granted the status of protected designation of origin/protected geographical indication ( Table 1 ), together with a number of other European blue mold cheeses. Production of blue mold cheeses has a long history: the manufacture of Gorgonzola and Roquefort was documented more than a thousand years ago; Stilton is mentioned in literature from the seventeenth century; and production of Danablu started in the 1870s. In 1916, a method for homogenization of cream was invented and used in the production of Danablu to make this cheese from bovine milk as white as the traditional Roquefort, which is made from ovine milk.

Table 1 . Examples of blue mold cheese varieties

NameOriginMilkMoisture (%)FDM (%)
DanabluDenmarkThermized bovine milk4455
GorgonzolaItalyPasteurized bovine milk4855
RoquefortFranceRaw ovine milk4452
StiltonEnglandPasteurized bovine milk4158

FDM, fat in dry matter.

CHEESE | Mold-Ripened Varieties

Blue Cheeses

Blue-veined cheeses mainly are made from the milk of cows, ewes, and buffalo. Such cheeses are characterized in general by pronounced gradients of pH, salt, and water activity. Common features of the production of all these cheeses include milk coagulation at 28–30 °C (strong flavored) or at 35–40 °C (mild flavored). Coagulation time is between 30 and 75 min. The coagulum is cut into strips or cubes. After stirring, when the grains of curd are firm enough, molding occurs quickly to ensure a spontaneous cohesion while maintaining openings in the cheese. To do this, no pressure is applied during draining, but molds are inverted frequently. At the end of the draining step, curd is salted in brine or with dry salt (in its mass or on the surface) to obtain a generally high salt concentration. To create and maintain openings, piercing of the curd is realized to allow further gas exchange. Maturation occurs in an environment with low temperature and high humidity.

Roquefort cheese is the first cheese that received a PDO. It is made from raw whole milk produced by ewes of the ‘Lacaune’ breed. Milk is matured using a mesophilic starter and heated at renneting temperature (28–34 °C). Renneting occurs no later than 48 h after the last milking. The P. roqueforti culture (traditional strains isolated from caves in the defined area) is added either in liquid form at the renneting stage or in powder form at the molding stage. The coagulum is cut until the lumps are the size of a hazelnut, and the curd-whey mixture is then mixed and rested several times until sufficiently drained grains of curd emerge. After part of the whey is drawn off (predrainage), the curd is hooped and slow whey drainage occurs at room temperature (∼18 °C) for up to 48 h, during which time curds are turned three to five times a day. Once curds are drained, their heel and faces are salted with dry marine salt, and then curds are transferred to the natural caves of Roquefort for ripening at 6–10 °C. Cracks in the limestone (‘fleurines’) act as natural filters and allow the circulation of fresh air with the correct temperature and relative humidity for optimal mold growth. Piercing of curds is done either in caves or in dairies no more than 2 days before curds are transferred to caves. This operation allows carbon dioxide (CO2) produced during fermentation to be expulsed and to oxygenate the curds and promote the development of P. roqueforti. Curds are left exposed in the caves for the length of time needed for P. roqueforti to develop successfully (at least 2 weeks). The ripening step is followed by a slow aging step in a protective wrapping, in the caves or in temperature-controlled cellars. Roquefort cheese cannot be sold for 3 months.

Yeasts and Molds: Penicillium roqueforti☆

Pigments

While veins of the blue cheeses are colored by P. roqueforti conidia, the biosynthesis of melanin, which provides the blue color to the conidia, is not fully deciphered. Combinations of bioinformatic, biochemical as well as genetic approaches tend to show that P. roqueforti produces melanin via a dihydroxynaphthalene (DHN)-melanin pathway utilizing a gene cluster containing six genes, namely alb1, ayg1, arp1, arp2, abr1 and abr2, as found in members of the Aspergillus genus. Melanins are thought to be important for the structural integrity of the spore wall as well as for multiple stress resistances. As observed for other traits, pigmentation varies among strains and significant differences have been reported between strains used for different PDO cheeses.

Designing New Foods and Beverages for the Ageing

A.I. de Almeida Costa , in Food for the Ageing Population , 2009

28.1 Introduction

Doubled-dipped spicy chicken, blue cheese and walnut salad with maple dressing, and chocolate-dipped bananas – for whom do you think this menu is designed? A hungry teenager perhaps? Think again! These are Rachel Ray’s recipes for self-standing seniors ( The senior corner, 2006 ). Today’s seniors – and, most importantly, tomorrow’s – are an ever-increasing, highly diverse group of people wanting to live a healthy and fun life as much as any other. And like everybody else, they increasingly see how important it is to eat healthy and delicious food in a pleasant environment to achieve just that ( Roberts, 2002 ). However, to maintain the right balance between enjoyable food, a healthy diet and a pleasant lifestyle is perhaps harder on the ageing than on any other demographic group.

Generally speaking, the food industry has been slow in transforming the wealth of available knowledge regarding the nutritional needs and sensory perception of the ageing into new food products ( Roberts, 2002 ). Although seniors are probably more willing to try new foods than previously thought ( Pelchat, 2000 ; Otis, 1984 ), highly tailored approaches are still required for new products to succeed, given the heterogeneity and special requirements of this group ( Fillion and Kilcast, 2001 ; Herne, 1995 ; Kremer et al., 2007 ; O’Donnell, 1994 ; Roberts, 2002 ; Rolls, 1993 ; Russel et al., 1999 ; Wysocki and Pelchat, 1993 ). Moreover, to position new products to target the ageing market is a notoriously difficult task, as foods labelled ‘for seniors’ will probably turn out to be fairly unattractive for old and young alike ( Roberts, 2002 ).

This chapter shows how the design of new foods and beverages for an ageing population can be tackled through a consumer-led approach to product development. After a brief description of the underlying concepts and practices, a detailed picture is given of how this approach was used in the design of home meal replacements for senior households. The chapter also includes a comprehensive review of the main determinants of food preference and meal choice behaviour at a later age. Finally, relevant implications are derived from the work presented and future trends in the technological development of foods for the ageing are highlighted.

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