Data are presented which show that the use of glucono-δ-lactone as a chemical acidulant in cheese manufacture results in a much more rapid decrease in pH than that occurring in biologically acidified cheese. One of the consequences of the excessive early acid development was a very marked increase in the level of proteolysis during cheese-manufacturing operations. Consequently, chemically acidified cheese, as manufactured by the technique of Mabbitt, Chapman & Berridge (1955) (expt 17), does not appear to be a suitable ‘reference cheese’, especially for studies in which proteolysis during ripening is under investigation. The technique of Mabbitt et al. Avas modified to simulate the pH development pattern of starter cheese more closely; the level of proteolysis in curd made by the modified method was approximately equal to that in starter curd.
An attempt was made to link the propensity to develop bitterness of cheese made with fast acid-producing cultures with excessive early proteolysis in such cheese. The results show that fast- and slow-culture strains differed significantly in their acid-producing capability only after the cooking stage and consequently such cheeses differed little with respect to early proteolysis. Further, cheeses made with 0·5, 1·0, 2·0 or 4·0% of ML8 culture which differed considerably in rate of acid development and consequently in the level of early proteolysis did not develop bitterness, even when 4·0% starter was used.
It is concluded that gross proteolysis and bitterness are not correlated.