Chr. Hansen has announced that its camel chymosin coagulant FAR-M also has the ability to clot donkey milk. According to the company, its efficacy in clotting bovine milk are well-known and respected among cheese producers around the globe, and has brought along a wide range of benefits to both producers and customers, such as increased […]
According to the company, its efficacy in clotting bovine milk are well-known and respected among cheese producers around the globe, and has brought along a wide range of benefits to both producers and customers, such as increased yield, improved taste and texture, better process control and reduced CO2 footprint. It is, according to Chr. Hansen, the only known option for coagulation of camel milk, due to its high milk clotting specificity combined with a reduced proteolytic activity.
Now it has been confirmed that FAR-M also has the ability to clot donkey milk, which Chr. Hansen says opens up new business opportunities for cheese producers all over the world. It has previously been impossible to make donkey milk coagulate, since the level of kappa-casein has been detected at very low levels or completely absent.
The research on FAR-M and donkey milk was initiated by Dr. Giuseppe Iannella, Food Technologist.
“The idea to produce cheese came to me through an Italian owner of a farm breeding donkeys and who wanted to explore the employability of donkey milk,” said Iannella. “Through my research, I discovered that the casein micelle present in this milk is efficiently coagulated with FAR-M and this has resulted in the first cheese produced with donkey milk using rennet coagulation. The yield is limited due to the low levels of fat and protein in donkey milk, but the result is a good and tasty cheese”.
Fresh donkey milk cheese has a very mild taste and its texture is semi-rigid. After just a few weeks of ripening, the cheese develops a more distinct, piquant flavour and an aftertaste characteristic of the donkey milk. The texture becomes very hard, and , according to Iannella, “breaks like parmesan.”
Donkey milk cheese making is similar to that of cheese made from cows’ milk. However, due to the composition of donkey milk, the yield is much lower, at around 3%, dosage is much higher and the milk should not be thermally stressed, as this significantly impairs the enzymatic reaction.
“Continuously learning about possible application areas of our products is imperative for us at Chr. Hansen,” said Michael Fooken Jensen, Global Marketing Manager Cheese, Chr. Hansen. “This research confirms that FAR-M is a very unique product for coagulation of milk and that its benefits can extend into new product ranges.”