Industrialization

Blundel, Richard (2016). Industrialization. In: Donnelly, Catherine ed. The Oxford Companion to Cheese. Oxford Companions. New York: Oxford University Press, pp. 376–378.

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Abstract

Industrialization, the historical development that saw cheesemaking transformed from a largely craft-based or artisanal activity, often located on a dairy farm, to a production process that, for the most part, takes place in large ‘cheese factories’ or creameries [See ARTISANAL]. The principal features of modern industrialized cheesemaking, which set it apart from traditional approaches include: high production volumes; sourcing of milk from multiple dairy herds; pasteurization and re-balancing of milk supplies to minimize variability; use of standardized, bought-in starter cultures and rennet; mechanization and automation of manual processes such as stirring and cutting the curd; detailed ‘recipes’ and procedures; and the precise measurement and control of key variables such as temperature and acidity using specialized instruments [See PASTERURIZATION, RENNET, STARTER CULTURES]. This transformation of long-established cheesemaking practices was accompanied by equally radical innovations in product marketing and distribution. Together, these changes have exerted a profound influence on the quality and variety of cheese available and in overall patterns of cheese consumption.

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