Calcium chloride is a commonly used additive in cheese making. The mineral calcium chloride ensures that essential components of milk can clump together to form cheese. Besides, calcium chloride improves the effect of rennet.
The functions of calcium
Calcium ensures that essential components of milk can clump together, or coagulate, into cheese. Calcium chloride also improves the effect of rennet. Milk's ability to form rennet may vary due to differences in the size of the casein particles, the main protein in milk. The higher the calcium content of the milk, the larger the casein particles are. The larger the particles, the better the milk can form rennet. In addition, the size of the casein particles influences the whey release, so that this essential ingredient is preserved. With large casein particles, the network is open and coarse, and the whey flows out more easily.
Calcium content in milk
Several factors influence the calcium content of milk. For example, milk stored at low temperatures loses calcium. This means that the pasteurization process, in which milk is heated and then quickly cooled again, is somewhat at the expense of the calcium content. In addition, the calcium content of milk can differ per lactation season. Milk from late in the lactation season contains less calcium. To compensate for the loss of calcium, calcium chloride is added to the milk as a coagulant. It is also possible to add calcium chloride to the brine bath in which the cheese will mature.
"Calcium chloride is a common additive in cheese making"