Getting More Cheese for Your Milk

The global production of sheep’s milk is growing and its destination is, in the vast majority of cases, to become cheese. However, the yield of milk to become this product is low, so science is looking to increase its processing capacity, that is, obtain the cheese using less milk.

Immersed in this task, a team from the Department of Animal Production of the University of Córdoba led by Professor Ana Garzón has collaborated with the University of León in the search for genetic parameters that determine the production of cheese from Churra sheep’s milk, a one of the oldest and most rustic breeds of the Iberian Peninsula.

After analyzing traits related to the properties of rennet and milk (pH, milk yield, fat or protein content) in a sample of more than a thousand sheep, the research team found a heritability of these characteristics between low and moderate, which suggests that their improvement can be achieved through genetic selection. In addition, the need to consider the pH of the milk at the beginning of the coagulation process was determined as a trait to be taken into account as a selection index for the improvement of the quality of Churra, since it would improve the ‘cheese capacity’ of the milk of this breed.

To read the rest of the story, please go to: University of Córdoba