Short course to cover science, art of cheese making Nov. 7-10

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- Farmstead and artisan dairy processors and others interested in cheese are invited to take a short course presented by Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences in which they can learn about the ingredients and processes used to make specialty cheese.

The four-day course, from Monday, Nov. 7, through Thursday, Nov. 10, will also include techniques cheesemakers can implement to improve their businesses. Offered in the Rodney A. Erickson Food Science Building on the University Park Campus — the same building that houses the Penn State Berkey Creamery — classes will run from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. each day.

The course begins with a focus on the materials used for cheese making. Knowledge of milk composition and milk microbiology combined with good sanitation practices form the foundation for consistent manufacture of high-quality cheese, according to Kerry Kaylegian, Penn State dairy foods research and extension associate and course coordinator.

"Cheese making will be discussed with an emphasis on the chemical and microbial changes at each step in the process," she said. "Understanding changes that occur in cheese throughout manufacture allows cheesemakers to adjust their make procedure to modify finished cheese properties or in response to variations in milk supply and other factors."

Hands-on laboratories include a microbiology testing session and making several varieties of cheese in the pilot plant. The sensory evaluation session integrates principles learned in lectures and labs and illustrates how cheese evaluation can be used to troubleshoot manufacturing problems.

Food-safety principles, including HACCP, are presented to enable cheesemakers to comply with current and anticipated regulations. The course encourages interaction among the students and course instructors during lectures, labs, breaks, meals and at the wine and cheese reception.

For more information or to register, go to the course's website.

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Last Updated August 19, 2016