'Robust' pasta filata cheese cultures support downgrade-reduction efforts - Chr. Hansen

By Mark ASTLEY contact

- Last updated on GMT

Chr. Hansen's new DVS STI cultures are designed for pasta filata cheeses, which are an essential ingredient in prepared meals such as pizzas.
Chr. Hansen's new DVS STI cultures are designed for pasta filata cheeses, which are an essential ingredient in prepared meals such as pizzas.

Related tags: Cheese

Chr. Hansen has developed a new range of "robust" cultures for mozzarella and other pasta filata cheeses that support manufacturer efforts to reduce product variation and downgrade costs.

The Direct Vat Set and Streptococcus Thermophilus Italian (DVS STI) cultures range is composed of multiple thermophilic strains “carefully selected to provide fast and consistent acidification with the highest phage robustness.”

Cultures used in the pasta filata segment are traditionally composed of just one or two strains, according to Chr. Hansen. While these traditional cultures do a “great job”​ in an environment with low bacteriophage pressure, the impact of a phage attack on strains can have a “a great impact on the acidification process."

Speaking with DairyReporter.com, Chr. Hansen global marketing manager for cheese cultures, Anders Grøn Nørager, said that the “robustness”​ of the new cultures better protects them from phage attacks – ensuring better product consistency and reducing downgrade and scrap levels.

“Consistency is the key”

When manufacturing pasta filata cheeses it is essential to eliminate variation. These cultures are designed to control cultures to make the production of these pasta filata cheeses more consistent,” ​said Nørager. “Consistency is the key here.”

To ensure this consistency, Chr. Hansen’s new cultures were selected specifically for their “high robustness.”

“Lactic acid bacteria can be attacked by bacteriophages. This new cultures range has been designed to be more robust against phages,” ​said Nørager. “When attacked, the quality of the product can be affected. By increasing the robustness of the cultures, manufacturers are removing the risk of losing that vat.”

“If we can reduce the inconsistency of the final product, we can reduce the amount of scrap product. There are potentially some big economic benefits to be had. For a medium scale manufacturer of pasta filata cheeses, this could mean tens of thousands of euros worth of savings each year.”

Cultures should help “improve” productivity

The pasta filata cheese segment includes the likes of mozzarella, pizza cheese, and provolone. These products are an essential ingredient in home-cooking and prepared meals such as pizzas, pasta dishes, and sauces. Their wide use makes pasta filata one of the world's largest and most competitive cheese segments, according to Nørager.

Adopting Chr. Hansen's new DVS STI cultures could provide these manufacturers with a leg-up in terms of productivity, said Nørager.

“Companies that manufacture these pasta filata products face a lot of competition nowadays. The pasta filata segment is one of the largest in the world - it is one that all cheese manufacturers are interested in.”

“These cultures should help them to improve their productivity,” ​he said. 

Related topics: Ingredients, Cheese

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