Photo supplied by Ian Treuer, Cheesemaker

Enzyme Modified Cheeses

Enzyme Modified Cheeses were developed to deliver an intense cheese flavor but at a much lower cost than the fully aged cheese. Cheeses may need to be aged many years to develop the intensity of flavor required for some foods.

EMCs, which provide intense cheese flavor, are made from special blends of natural cheese with added lipases and other food-grade enzymes. Flavor concentrations 10 to 20-fold as high as that of the ripened cheeses develop in 1 to 3 days rather than 1 to 3 to even 5 years for the aging process. The cheese paste is then heat-treated to stop the biochemical reaction and cooled.

The use of the proteases and lipases is well known in the industry and relatively well characterized after so many years of use. Thistlezyme® brings an entirely new set of options to the researchers. There are early indications that Thistlezyme® may help with Italian type cheese flavors. Since Thistlezyme® hydrolyzes multiple casein fractions, many new peptides will be formed that are different from the other microbial or animal proteases.

The inactivation temperature of the Thistlezyme® is easily inactivated above 165° F which may make it easier to stop the reaction compared to other microbial/bacterial enzymes.