25 Jul 2017

New cheese bacteria to cut a wedge out of costs

9:53 am on 25 July 2017

A new bacteria being developed across the Tasman could save cheesemakers a huge amount of time and money, a New Zealand producer says.

Whitestone Cheese wheels in storage.

Whitestone Cheese wheels in storage. Photo: RNZ / Lydia Anderson

Queensland scientists are trialling the use of new bacteria to try to speed up production and create new flavour combinations.

They say adding the bacteria to the fermentation process could cut the maturing time down to as little as six months and save the industry $10 million a year.

The research is being welcomed by cheese producers here.

Whitestone Cheese chief executive Simon Berry runs a family business out of Oamaru and said he was keen to try it out.

Whitestone Cheese chief executive Simon Berry on site at the factory expansion in Oamaru.

Whitestone Cheese chief executive Simon Berry Photo: RNZ / Lydia Anderson

"We're always looking for new innovations, flavours and techniques ... we'd welcome trialling it in some of our blue cheeses or pressed styles.

Mr Berry said the new bacteria could be a big time-and-money saver.

"For example we do a Five Forks cow and goat cheese and it takes two years to get the complex flavours that we desire and prefer.

"If this was a faster working culture and could reduce that time from two years down to six months, or even two years to one, and still obtain those flavours then it would save us a lot of time and cost."

He said having inventory sitting maturing cost money because you needed storage space and staff to manage it.

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