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date: 21 May 2022


The Oxford Companion to Cheese
Paul S. KindstedtPaul S. Kindstedt

is the process of pumping milk or cream under high pressure through a homogenizer valve that is designed to break up milk fat globules into much smaller sizes. The principal function of homogenization is to prevent creaming in cow’s milk. Milk fat globules in unhomogenized cow’s milk readily separate to form a cream layer because of their large size, their lower density relative to the serum phase of milk, and because they adsorb cryoglobulins onto their surface, which cause globules to cluster. Sheep’s and goat’s milk lack cryoglobulins and therefore are much less prone to creaming. Homogenization creates numerous smaller fat globules with increased surface area, which causes micellar casein to adsorb onto the globule surface and form a casein membrane. Consequently homogenized milk fat globules behave much like casein micelles during coagulation and become incorporated into the casein matrix. This alters the rheological properties of the coagulated milk, producing a weaker gel with greater water-holding capacity, which often leads to defects in cheese associated with greater moisture retention, altered texture, and excessive lipolysis. However homogenization of cream is sometimes employed in the making of blue mold cheeses to produce a whiter cheese with enhanced lipolysis and flavor. Homogenization is also employed in the making of hot-pack cream cheese, and it is used to produce recombined milk by emulsifying butter oil in reconstituted skim milk from skim milk powder. Recombined milk is used for cheesemaking in some regions of the world where fresh milk is unavailable.... ...

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