Sheep Milk, Sheep Cheese and Thistle Rennet

General Outline

1. What is the composition of sheep milk?

2. Sheep milk/cheese characteristics and its main defects

3. Characteristics of thistle rennet

4. Sheep cheese making in Spain and Portugal

5. Making sheep cheese in the US

Impact of the breed on milk composition*

Impact of seasonality on milk composition*

Impact of seasonality on cheese composition

Milk Composition

• Basis for payment

• Fat

• Protein

• Other solids

• Premiums for low bacterial counts and low somatic cells

• Needed to calculate potential cheese yields and cheese composition and financial return

 Increase moisture content

 Use milk higher in casein and fat

 Increase casein retention

Increase fat retention


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