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The Chemical Makeup of Cheese

     Whey is a watery fluid that forms along with curd when milk coagulates. It contains the dissolvable constituents of milk and is a 5% solution of lactose in water. After the whey is removed from the curd during the cheese making process, it is then centrifuged (to separate materials of a different density) to remove dried or concentrated fat, and used for baking, candy making, and processed cheese products.
     Cheese stays fresh longer than milk, and it has much of milk's food value, including vitamins, minerals, and proteins. Cheese contains milk's nutrients in concentrated form.
     Casein is the main protein in milk. It is also the chief ingredient in cheese. When milk sours, or when acid is added, casein separates as curd. Sweet milk and casein separate when the enzyme rennet is added. Casein contains carbon (C), hydrogen (H), nitrogen (N), oxygen (O), phosphorus (P), and sulfur (S). Pure casein is an odorless, tasteless, white solid. Cow's milk contains 3% casein.
     Rennin is a protein- digesting enzyme that when it transforms caseingen into insoluble casein, it curdles milk. Rennin is found in the fourth stomach of cud chewing animals (like cows). It extends the period in which milk is held in the stomach of the young animal. Rennet, a commercial form of rennin, is used in manufacturing cheese and preparing junket, a custard-like dessert of flavored milk.
     Calcium does not occur naturally in the free state. Calcium carbonate (calcite), occurs in limestone, marble, chalk, eggshells, dolomite, coral, pearls, stalagmites, stalactites, and the shells of many marine animals. Calcium phosphate is important in the building of teeth and bones. Fluorite, gypsum, and aragonite are just a few of the many other minerals in which calcium is found. Compounds of the calcium element are widely apportioned.