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Title:
METHOD FOR MAKING CHEESE
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2007/128872
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
A method for making natural cheese having two or more phases, comprising providing at least two cheese curd batches in at least one cheese cooking; conveying a desired number of these cheese curd batches alternately to a discharge vat in desired order; levelling, if necessary, and pre-pressing into a plate or conveying the cheese curd batches in a corresponding manner directly into a mould or the like; cutting from the pre-pressed plate pieces of suitable size for moulding and pressing into a cheese, salting, packing when necessary and ripening when necessary or, when directly distributed into a mould, continuing the pressing into a cheese, salting and packing when necessary.

Inventors:
KÄRKI, Matti Pekka (Kennotie 3, Helsinki, FI-00730, FI)
TIILIKKA, Aimo (Omakotitie 28 B, Iisalmi, FI-74100, FI)
Application Number:
FI2007/050246
Publication Date:
November 15, 2007
Filing Date:
May 04, 2007
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
VALIO LTD (Meijeritie 6, Helsinki, FI-00370, FI)
KÄRKI, Matti Pekka (Kennotie 3, Helsinki, FI-00730, FI)
TIILIKKA, Aimo (Omakotitie 28 B, Iisalmi, FI-74100, FI)
International Classes:
A23C19/09; A23C19/068
Foreign References:
US4680181A1987-07-14
US4298618A1981-11-03
FR2584269A11987-01-09
DE10043573A12002-01-24
DE7737795U11978-06-29
Other References:
DATABASE HCAPLUS [Online] OKAZAKI Y. ET AL.: 'Manufacturing a complex type cheese from hard type cheeses' Database accession no. (1996:440392) & NIPPON SHOKUHIN KAGAKU KOGAKU KAISHI vol. 46, no. 6, 1996, pages 756 - 762
DATABASE CABA [Online] OKAZAKI Y.: 'Studies on the composite cheese manufactured with two differnt kinds of hard type cheeses' Database accession no. (2003:11005) & JOURNAL OF RAKUNO GAKUEN UNIVERSITY, NATURAL SCIENCE vol. 27, no. 1, 2002, pages 1 - 41
See also references of EP 2015641A1
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
KOLSTER OY AB (Iso Roobertinkatu 23, P.O.Box 148, Helsinki, FI-00121, FI)
Download PDF:
Claims:

CLAIMS

1. A method for making natural cheese having two or more phases, characterized by a) providing at least two cheese curd batches in at least one cheese cooking, b) conveying a desired number of these cheese curd batches alternately to a discharge vat in desired order, levelling, if necessary, and pre- pressing into a plate or conveying the cheese curd batches in a corresponding manner directly into a mould or the like, c) cutting from the pre-pressed plate pieces of suitable size for moulding and pressing into a cheese, salting, packing when necessary, and ripening when necessary or, when directly distributed into a mould, continuing the pressing into a cheese, salting and packing when necessary.

2. A method as claimed in claim ^ characterized in that the cheese comprises phases which are of similar or different cheese type and which have been selected from semi-hard, soft, semi-soft, hard or extra hard, preferably similar.

3. A method as claimed in claim 1 or 2, characterized in that the cheese is ripened or unripened, preferably ripened.

4. A method as claimed in any one of the preceding claims, characterized in that the cheese curd batches differ from one another with respect to organoleptic and/or optical characteristics, such as colour, cheese type, eye-formation, fat content, fat type, protein, protein content, spices, aromas or taste.

5. A method as claimed in any one of the preceding claims, characterized in that the cheese batches are made substantially simultaneously.

6. A method as claimed in any one of the preceding claims, characterized in that the cheese curds are conveyed to a discharge vat by using discharge nozzles, distributing by a mass distributor trolley or by another suitable means to the bottom of the vat.

7. A method as claimed in any one of the preceding claims, characterized in that the production process is either a continuous process or a batch process.

8. A method as claimed in any one of the preceding claims, characterized in that one cheese cooking is provided wherein the different phases in a two-phase final product are produced in stages such that first, some of the cheese curd obtained from the cheese cooking is discharged into a vat, spices, colours et cetera are added to a remaining portion in a cheese kettle, and the remaining portion thus obtained is discharged to the same vat or the like so as to form one layer.

9. A method as claimed in any one of claims 1 to 7, characterize d in that two or more cheese cookings are provided which differ from one another with respect to organoleptic and/or optical characteristics, wherein the cheese curds obtained from the cookings are alternately conveyed to a discharge vat or the (ike so as to produce two or more phases.

10. A method as claimed in any one of the preceding claims, characterized in that the cheese curd batches are conveyed to the discharge vat such that a total thickness of the cheese mass becomes 5 to 25 cm, preferably 10 to 18cm.

Description:

METHOD FOR MAKING CHEESE

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

[0001] The invention relates to a cheesemaking technique, and pertains to a method for making a novel type of natural cheese having a plurality of phases.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0002] In the production of ripened cheese, including those defined in the Codex Standards, such as Edam, Emmenthai, Gouda, Havarti, as well as several special cheese types, for example such known trademarks as Jarls- berg®, Grana, Oltermanni®, Turunmaa®, Finlandia®, the colour of the cheese mass is typically yellowish. The colour varies according to the feeding of the cow and the season. It is caused by variation in the content of natural colours, such as beta carotene, in the milk. The colour of the cheese may be intensified by adding various colours to the kettle milk. Typically, these include annatto (yellowish, orange), beta carotene (yellowish, orange), titanium dioxide (white), chlorophyll (compensation for yeliowness, green), etc. By using these or corresponding suitable substances or methods in varying amounts, the colour of the cheese mass may be changed as desired.

[0003] Literature on cheesemaking abounds. Cheese products of different types having a decorative and pleasant appearance can be produced from ripened cheeses e.g. by pressing into shape. In addition, it is known to stamp or print a design into the surface of the cheese. It is also known to e.g. grow mould, typically blue and white mould, on to the surface of the cheese in differently shaped patterns. In the production of Morbier, another widely known cheese, a streak is provided between two layers of cheese by using ash or a food colour (e.g. charcoal). It is known that such a streak in Morbier cheese may be provided e.g. by splitting the cheese in half during the pressing, adding charcoal or the like between the halves and combining the halves again and completing the pressing procedure, or that such a streak is provided by interrupting delivery of mass into a vat, mould or the like or by cutting the pre- pressed cheese mass in half, adding some charcoal or a corresponding colour on top of one half and pressing the halves together.

[0004] US Patent 4,994,288 (Graham III et al.) describes the production of a two-coloured combined (composite) cheese. Ripened cheeses are made in two batches and combined by "pressing into shape" by using a mould

and a cutter. In the first stage, the exterior of the cheese is cut to a desired shape and thickness. The differently-coloured and shaped inner plug of the cheese is produced by cutting into shape by using a mould.

[0005] Only few methods in which combination of a plurality of phases takes place before ripening the cheese have been published. Two- coloured Cheddar cheese is known wherein cheese made from two different batches is blended in arbitrary proportion. This provides a varyingfy variegated end result. In the production of Cheddar cheese, the cheese is pre-pressed and, if necessary, inverted until the pH reaches a suitable level, e.g. 5.4. This pre-cheese is milled and salted prior to moulding. Alternatively, a cheese curd is conveyed to conveyor belts, and the curd acidifies e.g. to the aforementioned pH value. Next, salt is added. In the production of Cheddar cheese, such a treatment stage is called cheddaring. Cheddaring gives this cheese its typical structure and enables such a mixing of mass. After the cheddaring stage, the granular, salted curd is put into a mould or the like and pressed into Cheddar cheese. It is not usually necessary to saft the Cheddar cheese separately. Conventional cheese is salted by immersing the final pressed cheese in brine for a suitable period of time; typically, such a brine treatment takes anything from one hour to three days.

[0006] A method is also known in which soft cheese or corresponding processed cheese is made by combining in layers a so-called layer cake. For instance, slices of Cheddar or blue cheese or the like are cut and put into a mould into which soft cheese or a corresponding processed cheese is cast in layers. Processed cheese may also be used for making batches of different colour which are then distributed into a mould or a package in different ways, thus obtaining multiphase cheeses.

[0007] German Utility Model DE 297 07 523 U1 (Unilever) describes a cheese product having at least two fresh cheese (cream cheese) phases. The phases may differ in appearance and taste, typically in colour, spices and fat content. Fresh cheese (cream cheese) masses are usually made by agitating e.g. in a soft cheese kettle (Stephan Cutter®) at an increased temperature and pressed through an extruder or dispensing directly into a container.

[0008] Prior to cheesemaking, the fat content of milk is adjusted to a correct proportion with respect to the protein content of the milk, and the milk is heat-treated in a suitable manner, e.g. pasteurized. Various bacteria separation methods or the like may also be used. At a suitable temperature, for in-

stance 31 °C, the milk thus obtained is transferred to a cheese kettle. A starter and other necessary additives and ingredients are then added thereto. Finally, a rennet is added. The subsequent stages of cheesemaking include: coagulating, or clotting the milk, cutting the coagulum into pieces, agitating the cheese curd mixture and possible heating, pressing the curd into a desired shape, salting and cellaring, i.e. ripening the pressed cheeses. During the kettle stage, the purpose is to provide the selected variety of cheese with a suitable grain size. Agitation, heating and other such methods enable the curd to be treated such that in a subsequent stage of pressing a high-quality cheese can be achieved as far as the water and fat contents are concerned.

[0009] The stages of production of granular and round-eyed cheeses slightly differ from each another. The production stages of the production of these cheeses include:

1) Cooking of cheese (additions of rennet and cultures, i.e. starters, cutting the coagulum into a curd, expulsion of whey, addition of water, heating, agitation) in order to produce a cheese curd. Due to the activity of the starters, the pH of the cheese curd decreases during cooking, and a desired texture of the curd is achieved. Typically, the curd is produced as a batch process with cheese kettles or by a "Coagulattor" process as a partly continuous process.

2) Conveying the cheese curd mixture to a discharge vat, mould or a distributor. In the production of round-eyed cheeses, such as Edam, Gouda, Emmenthal, the curd-whey mixture is transferred to a mould or a discharge vat or the like such that the curd is completely or almost completely immersed in the whey. In the production of granular cheese, such as Havarti, and several Tilsiter-type cheeses, such as Kreivi® and Kesti®, as well as cream cheeses (Scandinavian cream cheeses), for example Turunmaa® and Oltermanni®, the whey is completely or almost completely separated from the curd mass before the mass is conveyed to a mould, discharge vat or the like. The discharge vat process is a batch process while the distributor process is a continuous process.

3) Pressing the cheese curd. In the production of round-eyed cheeses, cheese grains are made to join together by pressing the cheese, usually by means of an external pressure. The cheese is pressed in a mould, vat or the like. The mass of the cheese becomes dense and may, during ripening, undergo formation of round eyes. In the production of granular cheeses, the grains do not join together completely, but mechanical or "granular" holes

are formed which, during ripening, may extend slightly. As in connection with round-eyed cheeses, granular cheese may also be pressed, but usually with a smaller force, or it may be left to be pressed into shape under the influence of the weight of its own mass. If necessary, all cheeses, and granular cheeses in particular, are inverted during pressing and autopressing. During the pressing stage, which can be divided into pre-pressing and final pressing, the cheese adopts its shape, the process of acidification continues (pH decreases) and the texture of the cheese is adjusted as desired.

4) Removal of the cheese from the mould or the like. When necessary, the cheese can be cut into blocks of more suitable size, and it is transferred to be salted. Usually cheeses are salted in brine. The cheeses are immersed in brine for a required period of time, or they may float freely. During salting, salt is absorbed into the cheese, and often the cheese gives off water (whey). Cheeses may also be salted with dry salt or by other methods, e.g. injecting. Depending e.g. on the variety of cheese, salting takes anything from less than one hour to as long as 30 to 40 days.

5) Protecting and ripening. After salting, the cheeses may be kept in the cool for some time. Next, the cheeses are protected with a bag, film or the like manufactured e.g. from a suitable plastic material and seamed air-tightly. The surface of the cheeses may also be treated with a protective emulsion. In the production of some cheeses, the cheeses are as such taken to ripen under suitable conditions. The cheeses are ripened under suitable conditions (temperature typically 10 to 25°C, atmospheric humidity is also often adjusted to a suitable level) for a suitable period of time. The conditions may also vary during ripening. The production of so-called surface-ripened cheeses (mould cheeses and smear cheeses) also involves cleaning and treating the cheeses with various microbe solutions.

[0010] During ripening, processes called proteolysis and fipolysis of various degrees take place, giving the cheese type its unique taste. The mass of the cheese becomes more elastic and the cheese may undergo eye formation, caused by gas, or the holes in a granular cheese may become larger.

[0011] Unripened cheeses, i.e. fresh cheeses, may be made in a similar manner, but they are ready to be consumed without ripening.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

[0012] The invention provides a novel method for making natural cheese having two or more phases.

[0013] The invention surprisingly reveals that multiphase cheeses which have a pleasant and attractive appearance and in which the phases are highly distinguishable and permanent can be made using a conventional cheesemaking technique by carrying out the process of producing cheese in stages.

BRIEF DESCRfPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0014] Figure 1 is a flow diagram showing an embodiment of a cheesemaking method according to the invention in connection with making ripened cheese and two separate cheese cookings.

[0015] Figure 2 shows drawings of examples of a cheese mass obtained by the method according to the invention after pre-pressing in connection with starting to put the mass into moulds. The ruled area designates a coloured cheese mass. The accuracy of boundaries varies, depending on the technique used.

[0016] Figure 3 shows examples of multiphase cheeses made according to the invention: a) formation of eyes of different colour in two-coloured cheese, b) use of spices in two-phase cheese, c) two-phase cheese made from cheese masses of two types exhibiting different eye formation.

[0017] Figure 4 shows a reference example of stages of production of conventional Edam cheese.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

[0018] The present invention relates to a method for making natural cheese having two or more phases, the method being characterized by a) providing at least two cheese curd batches in at least one cheese cooking, b) conveying a desired number of these cheese curd batches alternately to a discharge vat in desired order; levelling, if necessary, and pre- pressing into a plate or conveying the cheese curd batches in a corresponding manner directly into a mould or the like, c) cutting from the pre-pressed plate pieces of suitable size for moulding and pressing into a cheese, salting, packing when necessary and

ripening when necessary or, when directly distributed into a mould, continuing the pressing into a cheese, salting and packing when necessary.

[0019] In the present application, natural cheese, which, for the sake of simplicity will hereinafter only be called cheese, refers to cheese made by the above-described conventional method by using a cheese curd formed from a coagulum or the like obtained by coagulating milk by means of a rennet or acidification, or both. It is to be noted that processed cheese and so-called international cream cheese, such as Philadelphia®, are not natural cheeses since they are usually made from milled natural cheese by blending and emulsifying with heat and suitable additives. The main ingredient in the production of cream cheese is usually quark {fresh cheese).

[0020] Cheese made according to the present invention comprises phases of either similar or different cheese type. Typically, these phases are semi-hard or soft, semi-soft or hard, or extra hard cheeses in type. Preferably, the cheese consists of phases of the same cheese type in terms of hardness, such as Edam and Polar®. However, according to the invention, it is possible to make multiphase cheese comprising any combination of phases of different cheese type. The expressions soft, semi-soft, semi-hard (solid), hard and extra hard are strictly defined in FAO/WHO A-6-1968 Codex General Standard for Cheese. Thus, soft cheese in the present application refers to cheese whose water content of the fat-free part is more than 67%, semi-soft cheese in the present application refers to cheese whose water content of the fat-free part is 61 to 69%, semi-hard cheese in the present application refers to cheese whose water content of the fat-free part is 54 to 63%, hard cheese in the present application refers to cheese whose water content of the fat-free part is 49 to 56%, and extra hard cheese in the present application refers to cheese whose water content of the fat-free part is less than 51 %.

[0021] In the present application, the term "cheese", in addition to the aforementioned cheeses, is also meant to cover cheese-like products. In a cheese-like product, milk fat and/or protein is replaced by another suitable fat or protein, or both, partly or completely.

[0022] The method according to the present invention thus enables production of cheese of a completely novel type comprising two or more

phases that differ from one another with respect to one or more organoleptic and/or optical characteristics, such as typically colour, cheese type, eye formation, fat content, fat type, protein, protein content, spices, aromas, taste or the like.

[0023] The method according to the present invention may be used both for ripened and unripened cheese. In the present application, ripened and unripened cheese refers to cheese defined in FAO/WHO A-6-1968 Codex General Standard for Cheese. Examples of unripened cheeses include Koti- juusto and Juustoleipa by Valio.

[0024] Typical cheese types to be used in the method according to the present invention include Edam, Emmenthal, Gouda, Havarti, and known trademarks or the like such as Jarlsberg®, Grana, Oltermanni®, Turunmaa® and Finlandia®. The cheeses are examples of hard and ripened cheeses. Another important product application group for the invention is cheese-like products. When made according to the invention, these cheeses and cheese-like products have several different phases with advantageous appearances and different sizes.

[0025] Furthermore, the method according to the invention can be used for making from these cheeses pieces of different size, slices, grated cheeses or various designs by stamping with a mould. The phases are distinguishable also in these pieces or the like.

[0026] The cheeses made by the method according to the invention are salted preferably before ripening. Salt may also be added during cooking. After salting, the cheeses may be immediately cut into pieces and ripened. When unripened cheese is made, no ripening is necessary. Alternatively, according to the invention, cheeses may be ripened as a large block, typically as a bar, grind or ( oaf, and further processed, e.g. sliced, cut into pieces or grated, when ripe.

[0027] In the production of cheese masses to be made in the method according to the invention, a technique known per se for making natural cheese is used. Prior to cheesemaking, milk is standardized (milk fat and, if necessary, protein content is adjusted to appropriate levels) and heat-treated (e.g. pasteurized), as is known in the art. When in the production of multiphase cheeses several cookings are combined e.g. in the same discharge vat, it is necessary to optimize the amount of milk in the cookings so as to obtain a

suitable amount of cheese in the discharge vat or the like, or a suitable number of discharge vats or the like is to be available.

[0028] In the method according to the invention, two or more batches of cheese curd are made substantially simultaneously. In the present invention, the term "substantially simultaneously" refers to the curds being produced simultaneously or slightly nonsimultaneously. A delay between the cookings of cheese curds may be typically 5 to 15 minutes. Preferably, the cheese curds are cooked simultaneously. These cookings are conveyed alternately to a discharge vat, mould or the like either directly or by distributing by means of a mass distributor trolley. Intermediate pressing may be carried out between the distribution of different layers. Such intermediate pressing may be used for enhancing the formation of accurate boundaries between phases. After all phases have been alternately conveyed to a vat, mould or the like and the cheese has been subjected to a treatment typical thereof in the pressing stage, the result is multiphase cheese. It may be typically layered. For instance, two batches of Edam cheese may be made such that one batch contains annatto while the other one contains no annatto. When these are conveyed to a discharge vat in a manner described above, for example such that the coloured cooking is conveyed first and then the non-coloured or differently coloured cooking, two-coloured cheese is achieved, one side being e.g. orange and the other of a natural colour.

[0029] This method can also be applied to the production of variegated cheese by discharging the curds into a vat at the same time or by blending them in a kettle or in an intermediate tank (buffer) or by conveying them into a vat, mould or a distributor device (e.g. Casomat).

[0030] According to an embodiment of the method according to the invention, a number of cookings similar to that of different phases to be achieved is cooked substantially simultaneously. Such an embodiment is described in Figure 1 , wherein two cheese cookings are produced and two-phase cheese is obtained. It is also possible to distribute two different cookings to a discharge vat alternately and obtain three or more phases such that two different phases alternate in the cheese. Figure 2 illustrates such a situation.

[0031] According to a second embodiment of the method according to the invention, multiphase cheese may also be produced by one cooking. In such a case, for example, a portion, typically e.g. a half, of a conventional cooking is discharged into a vat. Next, e.g. visible spices or a suitable colour

may be added to a remaining portion in the kettle. After the addition, the rest of the cooking is distributed into the discharge vat or the like as described. It is however possible to make several cheese curd batches with different organoleptic and/or optical characteristics from one cooking, and distribute an arbitrary number thereof into a vat in arbitrary order, thus obtaining cheeses with highly different appearances and with a varying number of cheese layers of different type,

[0032] Typically, the batches to be made may differ from one another on the basis of colour; for example, in the production of one batch no colour or clearly less colour has been added while the other batch is provided with e.g. an amount of yellow annatto which makes the colour of the cheese mass clearly different. The use of colour is subjected to regulations of food legislation. A permitted colour and its amount is regulated according to cheese type. For instance, ripened cheese that has been coloured orange-yellow or off-white can be coloured with colours E 160a or E 160c (by quantum satis principles) or with colour E 160b 15 mg/kg at the most. This can be used in Red Leicester cheese (50 mg/kg) and in Mimolette cheese (35 mg/kg). According to the method of the invention, for example the orange Polar® cheese curd is mixed with 0.03% of annatto when making two-phase cheese in which one mass consists of Edam with no added colour (Figure 1). A cheese mass may also be coloured by adding thereto a suitable spice which at the same time lends it some colour.

[0033] The cheese masses in different phases may also differ in their fat content and with respect to the type of fat used. The fat content of the final cheese phase may vary from less than 5% to as high as more than 40 % (w/w), typically being 10 to 30%. In a cheese-like product, milk fat may be replaced either completely or partly by a vegetable fat, typically by a vegetable oil, such as rapeseed oil or fractionated palm oil.

[0034] According to the invention, cheese masses having different fat and protein contents or cheese types of different recipes can also be combined into multiphase cheeses. Different ways of distinction may also appear in combination, a first phase consisting e.g. of uncoloured Edam 24% spiced with cumin and a second phase consisting of large-eyed cheese that has been coloured orange with annatto and subjected to propionic fermentation (Polar®). The invention may also utilize different starters and starter mixtures in the production of cheese mass. The most common starters in the production of the

orange Polar® include a mesophilic starter, typically starters by Christian Hansen or Danisco, a propionic bacterium, typically Valio PJS, and a taste-giving adjunct, typically Valio Lb 161. An example of one cheese type of two-phase cheese is Edam, which is made using a mesophilic starter, typically CH 19, as a starter. The starter and its amount depend on the cheese type and the conditions used. It is known that the amount of starter is usually 0.5 to 2%, typically 0.7 to 0.8%.

[0035] As stated above, the cheeses made by the method according to the invention may be salted prior to ripening, or salt can be added to the cheese mass already during cooking. It is preferable in the invention that the phases are combined prior to salting and, if necessary, the cheeses are ripened.

[0036] Typically, a technique called a discharge vat (pre-pressing vat) technique is used in cheesemaking, wherein a cheese curd cooked in a cheese kettle is conveyed using discharge nozzles or mass distribution trolleys or in another manner to the bottom of a vat, levelled, when necessary, and pre- pressed into plates. Typically, the bottom and/or ends and/or walls of the vat may be perforated or otherwise permeable to whey. From this pre-pressed plate, pieces of suitable size are cut for moulding and pressed into cheese (moulding and pressing), salted and ripened when necessary. The cheese may also be pressed to its final shape in the vat without moulding, which is a common procedure e.g. in some Emmenthal processes.

[0037] Cheese may be made in a similar manner also using other apparatuses, e.g. a Chalon Megard system or the like wherein the mass is conveyed directly into a mould.

[0038] According to the invention, cheese curd batches are conveyed to a discharge vat such that a total thickness of the cheese mass becomes 5 to 25 cm, preferably 10 to 18 cm. In connection with some cheese varieties, layer thicknesses that are clearly smaller or larger are also possible.

[0039] The accuracy of boundaries between different phases varies according to the technique being applied. During pressing, the mass of the cheeses may undergo displacement, e.g. in a rectangular cheese the lower mass may rise at the edges while the upper mass may sink in the middle, respectively; when making a ball cheese, such displacements may be even greater. The formation of accurate boundaries between phases is enhanced by pressing between the additions of cheese curd layers.

[0040] According to the invention, cheese can be made either by continuous cheese production or in batches. The volume of a batch may vary according to general conditions and the equipment available. Preferably, the method according to the invention is carried out as a batch process.

[0041] The cheese obtained by the method according to the invention has several phases. Figure 3 shows examples of multiphase cheeses. Figure 3a shows an example describing formation of eyes of different colour in two-coloured cheese. One phase (e.g. the one coloured yellow) has been made by a large-eyed (Polar®) cheese recipe while the other phase is an Edam type cheese. The cheese has been ripened at a temperature suitable for Polar. It is possible in this example that some of the eyes reside on the boundary between the phases, so that an eye is half yellow and half normal- coloured. In the yellow area the eyes are completely yellow while in the normally-coloured area they are coloured accordingly. In the case of the example, the eyes are mainly in the Polar cheese phase but some of them also reside in the Edam phase. It is also possible to add a visible spice, such as cumin, clove, cocoa as such, in concentrate or as an aroma, and various herbs et cetera to one phase. In such a case, they mainly reside in the phase originating from the cooking to which the spice was added. In such a case, the spices are added towards the end of the cooking. Such an example is shown in Figure 3b. Figure 3c shows an example of combining two cheese masses with different eye-formation into two-phase cheese wherein, under appropriate ripening conditions, either numerous or large eyes are produced.

[0042] The invention will be described in more detail by means of the following examples. These examples are only given to clarify the invention, and they are not to be considered to restrict the scope of the invention in any way.

Example 1

[0043] Figure 1 is a flow diagram showing stages of cheese production. It describes a method wherein two different semi-hard cheeses, large- eyed cheese (e.g. Polar®) coloured with annatto (0.03%) and Edam cheese with no added colour, are combined into multiphase cheese. In the production of the orange Polar®, a mesophilic starter (0.7%), typically a starter by Christian Hansen (CH 19), a propionic bacterium, typically Valio PJS, a taste-giving adjunct, typically Valio Lb 161 , and a sufficient amount of rennet are used. In

the production of Edam, a mesophilic starter (0.7%), typically CH 19, and a sufficient amount of rennet are used. In the cooking stage, calcium chloride (0.02%) and, if necessary, potassium nitrate (0.015%) is added to both cheese masses. From each cooking a cheese curd is conveyed to a discharge vat and levelled in one's turn, and pre-pressed for about 10 to 20 min. The cheese mass is cut into rectangular blocks of approximately 2 to 3 kg (each block having both phases) and transferred into a mould, pressed for 1 to 2 h and salted in brine for 10 to 20 h, packed into ripening bags, put into boxes, arranged on pallets and ripened for 5 to 8 weeks. If desired, the ripe cheese may be sliced, grated or further packed into consumer packages. Alternatively, the cheese may be further cut into smaller pieces after salting, with the proviso that both phases be included in each piece, however.

Example 2

[0044] Figure 2 shows examples of products made in accordance with the invention in a discharge vat. A total thickness of the cheese mass is typically about 10 to 15 cm. Typical layer designs of multiphase cheese include: a) coloured layer under, uncoioured on top (and vice versa), b) uncol- oured layer between two coloured layers (and vice versa), c) four layers with alternating coloured and uncoioured layers. The accuracy of the boundaries between phases varies depending on the technique being applied. During pressing, the cheese, depending on the mould size, is made into a loaf, bar or a grind of typically e.g. about 2.8 kg.

Example 3

[0045] During ripening, eyes have been formed in the exemplary cheese of Figure 3a. The colour of the eyes depends on their location. In Figure 3b, spices have been added to one phase. Commonly used spices for cheese include cumin and clove seeds. In Figure 3c, one phase consists of cheese mass wherein, under appropriate ripening conditions, numerous or large eyes are produced.

Reference Example 4

[0046] The reference example of Figure 4 describes a conventional way of making Edam. In the production of Edam, a mesophilic starter (0.7%), typically CH 19, and a sufficient amount of rennet are used. In the cooking stage, calcium chloride (0.02%) and potassium nitrate (0.015%) are also

added to the cheese mass. The cheese curd is conveyed to the bottom of a discharge vat, levelled and pre-pressed into a plate. The cheese mass is cut into pieces and transferred into a mould, pressed, salted and ripened. If desired, the cheese is sliced, grated or packed into consumer packages.