Giuseppe Iannella, an Italian food technologist, reported earlier this year that Chr Hansen's FAR-M coagulant - a pure camel chymosin ingredient developed to aid the production of cheese from camel milk - also has the ability to clot donkey milk.
Iannella told DairyReporter.com in April that use of FAR-M could be extended to milk from "other species that belong to the equus family."
This, he said, could include horses and zebras.
Using FAR-M and a tailored process, dubbed the 'Nativity Equid Cheese Making Method Method' by Iannella, he now claims to have produced cheese from mare's milk.
He concluded in his study, Mare's milk coagulation through pure camel chymosin and cheese manufacturing, that mare's milk "is also effectively coagulated by pure camel chymosin (FAR-M) under the same operating conditions used to curdle donkey milk."
Heating "most critical part"
As with donkey milk, Iannella began by heating mare's milk "in a gentle way" to 37C in a water bath at 43C.
He described this step as "the most critical part of the process" when producing donkey milk cheese, and “confirmed the same behaviour, about the influence of heating, in mare’s milk.”
Starter cultures and FAR-M pure camel chymosin (0.4g per 5 litres of milk) were then added, and the heated milk was left to coagulate for six hours at 37C.
After that, Iannella removed most of the whey, cut the curd, before draining off the rest of the whey. The curd was then moulded and stored at 8C.
The 'Iannella Method' gave a yield of about 4.5% - higher than the 3% Iannella reported for donkey milk cheese earlier this year.
"Industrial scale" mare's cheese?
Traditionally, Iannella said, mare’s milk is only consumed in Mongolia and the Caucasus, where it is fermented to produce a slightly alcoholic beverage, known respectively as Airag or Kumis.
This discovery could, however, lead to new applications for mare's milk, he said.
"This application represents an informative step for further trials and could be use for industrial scale cheese processing of mare's milk," he said.
"More research is needed to study the mechanism of enzymatic coagulation in equid species, to use the nutritious whey that is produced from cheese, and finally if cheese and derivatives from equid milk can be addressed as alternative food for people suffering from food allergies i.e. to other dairy products," he added.
Title: Mare's milk coagulation through pure camel chymosin and cheese manufacturing
Author: Dr Giuseppe Iannella email@example.com