Scientific cheese is examined in every detail

As a Scientific project Norrmejerier and SLU cooperate on producing cheese out of milk from SLU’s experimental farm Röbäcksdalen in Umeå. The goal is to follow the lactic acid bacteria’s path from feed to milk and finally cheese.

In the present study, roughage has been preserved using different methods and fed to the cows in the herd. The aim is to investigate whether the bacteria found in the grass are transferred via the roughage to the milk and the resulting cheese.

In a joint project, researchers from SLU and Norrmejerier are studying the naturally occurring bacteria in feed, raw milk, and cheese, both in terms of quantity and function. The study began in the summer of 2020 with cultivation, harvesting and conservation of 800 tons of fodder on the Röbäck plain. In the spring of 2021, a unique feeding trial was then carried out. The cows were fed for three-week periods with the various silages and the resulting milk was brought to the dairy in Burträsk to be used in the production of Västerbottensost type cheese.

The cheeses have then been stored for almost two years and regularly examined to sequence the composition of the microflora and to assess taste and texture using the dairy’s sensory panel.

The study is an important part of Thomas Eliasson’s (photo) doctoral project on the origin and occurrence of lactobacilli (lactic acid bacteria) in the cheese value chain.

The preliminary results show differences in microflora between the different roughages, as well as between the milk produced during the periods when the cows were fed with the respective roughage. After a sensorics session last week, the preliminary verdict from Thomas Eliasson was:

– We experienced differences between the cheeses, both in taste and texture. But it is too early to draw any conclusions about the impact of the silage treatments yet.

Read the full press release HERE