The local microbial rennet fermented in coconut paring cake was developed by Dr. Susana Mercado of the University of the Philippines, Los Baños Biotechnology (UPLB-Biotech) is now available for dairy farmers engaging into cheese making using carabao’s milk.
Mercado has discovered that paring cake as the best agent to secure good quality microbial rennet from fermentation.
The agent comes from clean coconut, took of the copra meal and oil and it permits triple microbial activity favorable to producing rennet.
Rennet is the enzyme that transform milk into a solid. It is usually derived from the stomachs of ruminants like cattle, goat and carabao.
Most cheese makers in the country derive their rennet requirements from slaughtered ruminant animals.
Rennet taken from older ruminants tends to cheese tastes bitter. Their stomachs contain more pepsin and very little of chymosin, both are enzymes.
High pepsin content in animal rennet hydrolyzes protein and this weakens the protein network in milk. This results in lower cheese yield with reduced protein and fat content and bitter flavor.
The best type of rennet comes from nursing ruminants but economics dictates that no farmer would slaughter these animals for a measly supply of rennet.
Plant rennet is not a good alternative either, not only they are basically unstable, it makes the milk and cheese taste bitter.
Philippine dairy farmers engaging into cheese making using carabao milk can now compete with foreign producers.
With the advent of the newly discovered local microbial rennet fermented in coconut paring cake, it has resulted to a firmer and a better tasting cheese.
Besides, utilizing locally produced rennet, a big lift to Filipino dairy farmers especially in soft cheese production which generates 80 percent savings as against using imported microbial rennet.
It has also produced higher cheese yield resulting to more stable cheese size and weight. It has retained more protein and fat in milk resulting in creamier taste and more uniform texture.