Thistlezyme® – A Great Way to Make Cheese

The attached presentation discusses the properties of Enzyme Development’s new Protease, Thistlezyme®, 100% Thistle rennet extraction, and its use in cheese making and other foods. Thistlezyme® is an Aspartic Acid Protease that is extracted from the flower of the Thistle, Cynara cardunuculus. The use of this botanical protease in cheese making is documented as early as the time of the Roman Empire, as noted in ~50 BC by Lucius Junius Columella in his treatise De Re Rustica.

Currently, this protease is most commonly used in Portugal and Spain for the production of Sheep and Goat’s Milk Cheeses.The annual production of cheese made with this vegetable rennet is estimated at 5,000,000 kilos of cheese/year. Typically, soft bodied cheeses are associated with this thistle rennet.

The historical artisanal practice is to grind up flowers and make a liquid extraction (tea). The activity of these homemade rennets is unknown which can cause a batch of milk to be lost. With Thistlezyme®, each batch of liquid is now so that it has the same clotting strength every time.

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