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A method is provided for improving quality of cheese produced from a milk batch. A light beam from an incident light source impinges onto a surface of the milk batch, and light backscatter is optically detected during a coagulation process and correlated to an optimum cutting time for the milk coagulum. Next, light backscattered from a curd and whey mixture derived from the milk batch during a syneresis process is optically detected and correlated to an optimum syneresis endpoint. At least one of the backscattered light data, optical parameters developed from analysis of the backscattered light data, and whey fat dilution are correlated to at least one of a milk protein %, a milk fat %, a milk total solids content, a milk processing temperature, a curd moisture content, a curd moisture change over time, whey fat content, a whey fat loss, and a final curd yield.


University College Dublin, National University of Ireland Belfield, Dublin (IE), University of Kentucky Research Foundation, Lexington, KY (US), Teagase-The Agriculture & Food Development Authority Fermoy, Co. Cork, (IE)

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