This review, appearing in four parts, deals with relationships between flavor development and the microbiology of Swiss cheese. Body and texture characteristics of Swiss cheese also will be discussed, however, to a lesser degree and, wherever possible, in association with the flavor of Swiss cheese.

The first section, presented here, discusses use of raw milk and how the bacterial content of raw milk influences Swiss cheese quality. Thereafter, other milk treatments used in the cheese industry are discussed. They include clarification, heat-treatment, homogenization, and H2O2-catalase treatment of cheese milk. Changes in microbial flora and subsequent effects on Swiss cheese quality are included. Production of Swiss cheese with desirable body, flavor, and texture characteristics depends on use of low bacterial count, properly clarified milk. Mild [68 C (154.4 F) to 72 C (161.6 F) for 15 to 18 sec] heat treatment is recommended. Homogenization of cheese milk is not used and the H2O2-catalase treatment is not necessary.

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Author notes

1Journal Paper No. J-7503 of the Iowa Agriculture and Home Economics Experiment Station, Ames, Iowa. Project No. 1839.

2This review will appear in four parts: I. Milk Quality and Treatments; II. Starters, Manufacturing Processes and Procedures; III. Ripening and Flavor Production; and IV. Defects. Literature citations will follow part-IV.