Cheese is a product that is created from milk. It is produced all over the world in a wide range of textures, forms and flavors. Cheese is composed of milk fat and milk proteins. The milk used for producing cheese is usually taken from cows, goats, buffalo and sheep. It is made by coagulating casein, a milk protein.
Categories of Cheeses
There are many different types of cheeses. A cheese’s style, form, texture and flavor depend on the milk’s origin (including the food that the animal has been eating), the amount of butterfat present, whether it has been pasteurized, and the kind of bacteria and mold that was used in the process. Aging and processing also determine the kind of cheese that will be produced.
Cheeses are classified according to moisture content. Although this classification is also referred to as the “firmness” of the cheese, classifying by moisture content is more accurate. Under this classification, cheeses are called “soft,” “hard,” “semi-soft,” and “semi-hard.”
Cheeses are also classified according to age. Fresh cheeses are those that have not undergone aging. These types, without preservatives, usually spoil after several days.
Cheeses are also classified according to content, or by the kind of milk that was used to create it. Most commercial cheeses are made from cow’s milk. A larger number of cheeses are also made from goat milk and sheep milk. A double-cream cheese is made from cow’s milk, having a fat content of 60%.
Cheese and Nutrition
The calorie content of cheese depends on its type. For instance, an ounce of cheddar cheese contains 115 calories while an ounce of camembert cheese contains 85 calories. Cheeses contain very little carbohydrates, 20 to 30 percent protein and 30 to 40 percent fat. A hundred grams of cheese can provide the body with half its daily requirement of vitamin A, 20% of folate and most of the body’s vitamin B12 requirement. Cheese also contains zinc, iodine and selenium.
The most nutritious cheeses are those that have low fat content. Basically, the softer the cheese is, the lower is its fat content, except for cream cheese.
Disadvantages of Cheeses
One of the health risks of cheese is in triggering an allergy attack. Since milk is a common food allergen, people who have high sensitivity to milk might suffer an allergy attack after eating cheese. Thus, people with known allergic reactions to milk and all of its forms and products should avoid eating it to avoid an allergy attack.