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by amre6952
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In the process of cheesemaking, number of enzymesare used. The most commonly used are a complex of enzymes calledrennet. This complex contains many enzymes, such as pepsin, lipase, and protease, but the most important of these enzymes in the formation of cheese from milk is calledchymosin(or rennin).

Use of Enzymes in IndustryEnzymes in Cheese Making

The rennent complex was originallysourced from the mucosal lining of the fourth stomach of calves.(Click the hyperlink to see a diagram with the cow's fourth stomach, the abomasum.)


Chymosin is used in the production of cheese and other coagulated dairy products. This enzyme facilitates the hydrolysis of the peptide bonds of kappa-casein, a protein in milk, allowing the milk to coagulate. K-casein is the only type of the casein protein in milk that does not naturally coagulate in the presence of the milk's calcium ions.Futher explaination of why this occurs can be found here, fourth paragraph.The hydrolysis of k-casein results in the smaller moleculeproducts para-kappa-casein and a macropeptide:

Diagrams of the Enzyme Chymosin


As this smaller molecule, the para-k-casein product of k-casein can now coagulate with the ions. The reaction can be depicted as follows:



This coagulation, resulting in a precipitate, leads to the formation of milk solids. These milk solids are the beginnings of cheese, and may either be served without any further processing as a soft cheese or strained and further manipulated for flavour, hardness, and colour.


See a video of chymosin aiding in coagulation. The curdling in the vat is the coagulated para-k-casein, while the liquid still contains the k-casein and water.

The enzyme chymosin is made up of amino acids, some of which are labelled here. An example of some of the many functional groups represented by these acids are the amino (NH2) and carboxyl (COOH) functional groups, and the amino acids contain more and different functional groups depending on their side chains/R-groups.

See another video of the beginnings of cheese making here.


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