Fresh cheese, made with cow's milk, or sometimes goat or ewe's milk is neither fermented nor matured.
The milk used can be skimmed or whole, and will go to create a cheese which contains between 0% and 75% fat.
These cheeses are characterised by lactic curds, the paste which is abtained is humide (more than 70%) and has a weak cohesion, with a soft consistency and a fresh, acidic flavour.
These cheeses are usually fabricated with pasteurised milk, which favours their bacteriological quality in destroying the pathogenic germs and certain undesirable germs, and denatures certain proteins, leading to a more effective retention of the curds.
These cheeses are obtained by slow coagulation of between 12 and 24 hours or more, through the acidification of the milk. The temperature permits the development of the lactic ferments but limits the action of the rennet, which is added in small quantities.
The draining of this cheese can be realised in several ways:
- In a mould or cloth
- In bulk in the basin of fabrication, this is realised after draining. This process is used to obtain character cheeses.
- Using centrifugation for low fat and full fat cheeses. This is used in industrial production of large quantities of cheeses.
The salting is optional. If it is salted, it is a dry salting, in the mass of the cheese. It can also be aromatised.
These cheeses can only be conserved for a limited time: 5 to 30 days at a temperature of 0 to 4°C.
Fresh cheese is a concentrated source of calcium and protein.
Example of fresh cheeses: cottage cheese, petit suisse