The method used to prepare naturally matured Gouda and Edam cheese has traditionally produced cheese that is enjoyed by consumers throughout Europe. Producers of Gouda and Edam cheese will also have to aim to produce the best taste in the future. This will contribute to consumers and customers maintaining a preference for naturally matured cheese. Martin Wijsman, responsible for product development at FrieslandCampina Cheese, spoke on the theme of ‘Cheese, the cutting edge of tradition and technology’ at the annual meeting of the Dutch Society for Dairy Expertise.
Wijsman reported that more and more applications are being found for cheese. Cheese is not only a sandwich filling or a snack; it is increasingly being used by food companies as an ingredient in ready meals.
Naturally matured Gouda and Edam cheese is traditionally known for its taste and taste varieties. This is due to the method of production and maturing. Wijsman emphasises that the taste and consistency of naturally matured Gouda and Edam cheese can be traced back to the combination of milk quality and composition, ingredients such as rennet and lactic starter and the technology for preparing cheese, including brining and maturing.
Changes in the type of cheese available
There are changes in the type of cheese available. Apart from the advent of cheese with reduced fat and salt, Wijsman refers to the growing supply of foil cheese. Foil cheese is not matured in a natural rind, but in a foil wrapper. The production and storage of foil cheese is easier and cheaper than the production and maturing of cheese with a natural rind. As a result of this different method of preparation and maturing, the composition and taste of foil cheese differs from naturally matured cheese. Wijsman: “Not all Gouda and Edam cheese sold in the supermarket, cheese speciality shop or at markets meets the sensory expectations of the consumer.”
Challenge for cheese producers
For Wijsman, this is the challenge for professional cheese producers: “Good cheese is made from the best milk, carefully selected lactic starters and other ingredients, a controlled production process and controlled maturing conditions. New technology in the field of lactic starters and milk processing is giving the Dutch cheese producers the opportunity to maintain their lead when it comes to the taste of Gouda and Edam.”
According to Wijsman, cost control is also important in the production of natural cheese, but producers of naturally matured cheese should build on their strengths in particular: the taste and the natural taste varieties of naturally matured cheese. This not only bolsters the position in relation to foil cheese, but also reinforces the position of cheese in relation to other food.