The primary ingredient in this product is cheese, specifically soft cream cheese. Cheese is produced through the fermentation of milk using lactic-acid forming bacteria such as Lactobacilli or Streptococci. The bacteria added to the milk digest the milk which, in turn, produces lactic acid. The lactic acid produced coagulates casein (the main protein found in milk) to form curds. Rennet, an enzyme derived from a cow’s stomach, is added and then set aside. As soon as the mixture becomes firmer, excess water and they are squeezed out. The cheese is then cooked to further remove water (Rinzler, 2009). Cheese and the cheese-making process. Cream cheese was used as the primary ingredient, which is basically cheese with cream added to it. The two most commonly used methods are the: (1) conventional; and (2) ultrafiltration method. In the conventional method, cream content is set at 11 to 20 percent and pasteurized at 70ºC for 30 minutes. It is then homogenized at 1000 to 1500 psi (6900 to 10300 kDa) at 63ºC. Milk is then added with rennet to the mix. Once rennet is added to the milk, enzymes present in the rennet produce lactic acid which, in turn, creates a chemical reaction with casein, a protein found in milk. This process is called fermentation. The loose hydrogen atoms, which contain a positive charge, present in lactic acid becomes attracted to and combines with negatively charged casein molecules, making the mixture clump together. These semi-solid clumps are called curds. The leftover liquid is called whey (Pfizer Foundation, 2001). When the acidity level reaches pH 4.6, the curd is stirred to remove lumps. Water is then added at 76ºC until the temperature goes down to 51ºC. The hot curd is then poured into sterilized draining bags to remove excess water for 2 hours. Salt is then added to the curd. The cheese is then poured into molds and pressed lightly. It is then chilled to 2ºC. Additional flavoring may be added such as olives, nuts, pickles, relish, and pimiento.
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