PCC central processing plant to produce soon quality cheeses

High value cheeses from buffalo’s milk will be produced starting early next year by the Philippine Carabao Center (PCC) Central Processing and Collection Plant.

This projected plan was bolstered by the completion recently of three PCC staff members in a training program on cheese processing/production. Their training was carried on at the Korea Institute of Small-scale Milk Processing (KISM), Sunchon National University, Republic of Korea, from January 11 to 24 this year.

The three staff members, science research assistant Ms. Venus C. Quines of the PCC Central Processing and Collection Plant, Ms. Mina P. Abella, science research assistant of PCC at CLSU,and Thelma L. Canaria, science research assistant of PCC at UPLB, had hands-on trainings on processing of ripened and unripened cheeses from cow’s milk after imbibing knowledge on cheese production.

The training was conducted for them to improve their technical capabilities on the processing of high quality cheeses from buffalo’s milk.

According to Quines, every step in making varieties of cheeses was fully discussed by their trainor.

“Noong first day lang ang lectures, the rest ay puro hands-on training (It was only on the first day that we had lectures, the rest were for hands-on training),” Quines said.

Among those taken up in the lectures were fundamentals of cheese-making and the details on the different treatments on the curd resulting to different cheese varieties. Dr. Inhyu Bae, KISM director, was the training professor.

Although cow’s milk was used during the training, Quines said it was no problem adjusting the procedure in using buffalo’s milk. The essential thing, she said, was that they already learned to standardize and balance different treatments on the curd to produce different cheeses.

The science research assistant also stated that that cheese produced from buffalo’s milk is of higher value than cheeses made out of cow’s milk.

Ripened cheeses are more high-end cheeses, Quines said. They include gouda cheese, tilsiter cheese, appenzeller cheese, asiago cheese, berg cheese, edam cheese, and caciocavallo. These can be produced within 6 months to one year of processing, she added.

Unripened cheeses, on the other hand, are mozzarella cheese and string cheese, she said.

The training also provided them knowledge and skills in the production of yogurt and cultured butter.

The three trainees had also a chance to visit the Imsil Research Institute of Cheese (IRICS) Science and to Imsil cheese village.

IRICS is a newly established institute aimed at developing new cheese varieties for Korean market. It has a state of the art laboratory facilities and a small pilot plant for products development.

During the visit to the Imsil cheese village, they observed actual processing of string cheese. This cheese is marketed in Korea through online scheme. The village has four small-scale cheese factories.

Currently, the PCC Central Processing Plant is applying the acquired skills in the production of mozzarella cheese, string cheese, caciocavallo, yogurt, and cultured butter.