The Science of Cheese: Basic Level
The course begins with an online lecture component covering the key areas related to basic cheese-making techniques, cheese culture basics, milk defects, cheese defects, and cheese-making activities followed by a live session at Cornell University that focuses on in-depth cheese-making and sensory evaluation. This course grants 2 CEUs.
This course is a required course for attaining the Basic Cheese Making Certificate through Cornell University’s Dairy Foods Extension Certificate Programs. This course begins with an online lecture component followed by a live session at Cornell University.
This course will provide attendees with information in the key areas that are listed below, along with key learning outcomes in each area:
Importance of Pasteurization
- Name key foodborne pathogens that can be transmitted through dairy foods and describe the most likely entry points of these pathogens in the dairy foods continuum
- Identify dairy processing practices that prevent or reduce the likelihood of biological, chemical and physical hazards in dairy foods.
- Define classes of dairy spoilage organisms and describe most likely entry points of these in the dairy foods continuum.
- Describe key characteristics of bacteria and viruses relevant to dairy production and food safety, including factors affecting microbial growth and survival (e.g., temperature, salt, pH).
Basic Cheese Making Techniques
- Identify key equipment needed to produce quality and wholesome cheese
- Understand the basic science behind each step of cheese production
- Apply good manufacturing practices during the cheese making process
- Demonstrate the ability to calibrate and use a pH meter and a thermometer
- Maintain an accurate and comprehensive record of the cheese making process
Cheese Culture Basics
- Identify desirable culture characteristics needed for high quality cheese production
- Express how bacterial cultures are categorized
- Discuss how cheese varieties are defined
- Understand how cultures are selected for different cheese varieties
- Summarize how temperature influences culture growth
- Identify when a culture is not functioning properly using scientific methods and identify potential reasons
- Identify the basic tastes that humans can detect
- Identify several flavor defects by their description and their taste
- Explain how milk quality can affect product quality and shelf life
- Understand and identify the different causes of defective milk (absorbed, bacterial or chemical) causes
- Be able to differentiate between high quality milk and defective milk
- Identify prerequisites of milk that are needed to make high quality cheese
- Understand basic cheese composition and key characteristics of quality cheese
- Discuss typical cheese body, texture, and flavor defects and their causes
A test is administered at the end of the course; this test is an open book test, but is timed such that there is only limited time to search for information. The course also includes a pre-course test to determine the knowledge of all attendees before the start of the course. Test questions will include multiple choice, short answer, and true/false questions.
- Raw Milk Quality
- Sensory Defects
- Cleaning and Sanitizing
- Cultures in Cheese-making
- Cleaning and Sanitizing of Cheese Equipment
- Cheese-making in the pilot plant
- Review of Online Modules
- Food Safety
- Steps in Cheese Making
- Sensory Evaluation
- $650-$725 for in-state registrants
- $725-$880 for out-of-state registrants
- Enrollment is limited to the first 20 participants
Senior Extension Associate
rdr10 [at] cornell.edu (rdr10@ cornell.edu)
Additional instructors come from academia and industry.
- Hybrid course: online modules and one-day live session (both online and live course participation required.)
- Online course open September 1, 2023
- Live session on October 17, 2023
lmf226 [at] cornell.edu