The mammary gland inflammation process is responsible for an increased number of somatic cells in milk, and transfers into the milk of some blood components; this causes alterations in the chemical composition and physico-chemical properties of milk. For this reason, somatic cell count (SCC) is one of the most important parameters of milk quality; therefore, European Union (EU) Regulation no 853/2004 has stated that it must not exceed the limit value of 400,000 cells/mL. The research aimed to compare chemical composition, cheese yield, and cheesemaking losses of two groups of vat milks used for Parmigiano Reggiano production, characterized by different SCC levels. During two years, ten cheesemaking trials were performed in ten different cheese factories. In each trial, two cheesemaking processes were conducted in parallel: one with low SCC milk (below 400,000 cells/mL; Low Cell Count (LCC)) and the other with high SCC milk (400,000–1,000,000 cells/mL; High Cell Count (HCC)). For each trial, vat milk and cooked whey were analyzed; after 24 months of ripening, cheeses were weighed to calculate cheese yield. The HCC group had lower casein content (2.43 vs. 2.57 g/100 g; p ≤ 0.05) and number (77.03% vs. 77.80%; p ≤ 0.05), lower phosphorus (88.37 vs. 92.46 mg/100g; p ≤ 0.05) and titratable acidity (3.16 vs. 3.34 ◦SH/50 mL; p ≤ 0.05) compared to LCC. However, chloride (111.88 vs. 104.12 mg/100 g; p ≤ 0.05) and pH (6.77 vs. 6.71; p ≤ 0.05) were higher. Fat losses during cheesemaking were higher (20.16 vs. 16.13%). After 24 months of ripening, cheese yield was 8.79% lower for HCC milk than LCC (6.74 vs. 7.39 kg/100 kg; p ≤ 0.05).
Quantification of cheese yield reduction in manufacturing Parmigiano reggiano from milk with non-compliant somatic cells count / Franceschi, P.; Faccia, M.; Malacarne, M.; Formaggioni, P.; Summer, A.. - In: FOODS. - ISSN 2304-8158. - 9:2(2020), p. 212. [10.3390/foods9020212]