Cheese Lovers Newsletter (3.7.2021): Follow-ups

Cheese Lovers Newsletter (3.7.2021): Follow-ups

Hello Cheese Lovers,

Quick Liquor Recap
Back to our regularly scheduled cheese programming from here on. If you do want to keep up with liquor updates please respond as such. We don't anticipate making a newsletter or anything soon, but things change fast.

Thank you to the literal dozens of you who answered our survey questions. We aren't surprised but 100% of survey respondents to a survey about liquor like their liquor. And 99.3% were confident that they'd drink a whey-based spirit, with 0.7% open to hesitantly try it. :-)

While, again, this may be years off or never - this is not a new invention. Just 20 miles away in Melrose, Minn., ethanol (for fuel) was made from whey at the large Melrose Dairy Proteins plant from the 1980s to about 2007. The same is still happening for different grades of ethanol (fuel, beverage, cosmetics and more) in both New Zealand and Ireland. The Carbery process is one way to do it at the large scale - basically using this certain yeast to convert lactose (a sugar) to alcohol/ethanol. We're hoping to do this at our scale... and will put a pause on talking about it for now as we return back to our normal cheese newsletter and be sure to respond to the many ideas and responses in the week ahead.

But to show you this isn't new and only half-crazy, you can look up Bertha's Revenge of Ireland, Wheyward Spirits of California and Hartshorn Distillery of Tasmania. We've contacted all these places but lips are tight and non-disclosure agreements are in place, understandably. Thus, we put out the call for help. Those three probably represent one-third to one-half of viable whey distilleries in the world. One of our big advantages would be to just utilize what we make, scale for that, and never transport the milk/water/whey/wheyski farther than 50 yards from creation to sale.

That being said, we got more help since writing our newsletter are will keep up with the research and development. THANK YOU!

It's the most wonderful time of the year.... National Grilled Cheese Day! Obviously, this ooey gooey holiday means a lot to us. For the past few years we were able to have a Grilled Cheese Dinner, this year we're bringing it to you. This box comes jam-packed with everything you need to make three different varieties of grilled cheese (that's six sandwiches)! Join us at 4 pm on Saturday, April 10th for a live grilling session with the Redhead Creamery Fam while we share recipes, trivia, and answer some of your questions! If you are unable to join us, don't worry! There will be a link to the recording! This is one of our most popular events/items of the year, supplies are limited. Options include getting The Great Grilled Cheese Book!

Question of the week: As a follow-up to your palm fat inquiry, can you explain how this feed ingredient would travel through the cow and change the meat or butter?

Yes! First of all, thanks for using the word "inquiry."

Second, it is kind of a great demonstration but when a reader first asked us about this issue, we forgot we had switched to palm fat in the diet again (our nutritionist handles this for us). Right after we send this out, Kevin the nutritionist said it was time to take Palm Fat out again and replace with Energy Booster again - a different fat supplement. Prices had changed dramatically in a few weeks.

Third, we aren't food scientists even though sometimes we play them on T.V. So we turned to (or rather Dr. Hutjens linked us up with) Dr. Dave Barbano from Cornell University::

If you take the same cows with and without palm feeding in a controlled study, I think that the butter will probably be harder. The ending melting temperature will not be that much different, but how it softens at room temperature will probably be affected more. Milk fat starts melting at about -40 C and finishes melting about 38 C. At room temperature milk fat in butter is about 50% liquid but it holds its shape but softens. The impact of fatty acid composition that influences texture properties is what happens in the milk fat softening in the range from 10 to 18 C. Fatty acid composition and positional distribution of the fatty acids on the glycerol back bone of triglycerides impacts the melting curve in this range of temperatures and the relative proportion of liquid and solid fat in butter at room temperature.

It is not so much the increase in palmitic acid, but it is the decrease in short chain fatty acids and unsaturated fatty acids. I think this is shown in the fatty acid composition shown by Dr. Lock in his research, but not melting point data was collected. This is where it is good to have a food scientist around to pick up on these things and do some relatively simple tests. The short chain fatty acids and polyunsaturated fatty acids decrease melting temperature and melting distribution (softening at room temp). Small decreases in C18:2 and C18:3 can large impacts on melting characteristics of milk fat.

There is one paper published in the Journal of Dairy Science that tried to address the effect of fatty acid composition variation on products (not specifically melting of butter) but their ability to control milk fatty acid composition in their source milk was really weak and I think their results were inconclusive. The detected not impact, but their ability to detect impacts was very low given their lack of being able to "dial in" differences in fatty acid composition in the milk they used to make products.

In the bigger picture, the primary things that change milk fatty acid composition are stage of lactation and season of the year on grazing herds (softer summer and harder winter). These are long standing impacts that can be inter related if a dairy herd is a seasonal breeding herd. Fat feeding in TMR is superimposed on this variation.

In general, increasing de novo fatty acids should lower melting and make butter softer. The cow exercises some biological control over this. The milk fat should be completely melted at the body temperature of the cow. If de novo is high I think the cow has no problem. Short chain fatty acids decrease milking point and really give softening in the temperature range from 10 to 18 C. However if de novo is low, then I think that stearyl CoA desaturase activity may increase to increase the C18:1 in milk under normal feeding conditions.

However, when by-pass fat (C16) is fed, it seems that it may not trigger a stearyl CoA response. In general, when Dr. Lock has increased the proportion of C16:0 in the milk the relative proportion of C18:1 has remained about the same or decreased slightly and the C18:2 and C18:3 have decreased. Small changes in concentration of C18:2 and C18:3 will have a large impact on melting, particularly softening at room temperature. Remember a change of C18:2 from 2.5% relative to 2.0% relative is a 20% decrease in 18:2 which is a very potent compound for lower melting point. C18:3 has a even larger impact. The decrease in melting point from C18:0 to C18:3 is very non linear.

C4:0 mp is -8 C (liquid in the refrigerator)
C6:0 mp is -3.5 C (liquid in the refrigerator)
C8:0 mp is +16.7 C
C10:) mp is +32 C
C12:0 mp is +44 C
C16:0 mp is +63 C
C18:0 -mp is +72 C (beta cyrstal)
C18:1 mp is +13 C
C18:2 mp is -5 C (liquid in the refrigerator)
C18:3 mp is -11 C (liquid in the refrigerator)

I hope this helps with the understanding of this.

There you have it. If you wonder why more science isn't fully shared in the news, let this be an example. The answer is usually more complicated than black or white, and sometimes even the best scientists in the world are still only quite sure about the answer.

Got questions??? Let us know!

Alise, Linda, Lucas and Jerry

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