An enzyme which breaks down proteins into more complex structures as used for promoting more complex flavors in cheesemaking. It is extracted from the endocrine system of a calf for the "mild" version and from the goat for the "strong" version. It should, however, be re-hydrated in water before use but I find that a small amount of milk works just as well.

Lipase can be used to add a more robust flavor to cheese. This is an optional additive, using it is simply a mater of personal taste. We recommend starting with mild lipase and if you still want more flavor then move onto the sharp lipase.

For an idea on the range of flavor, here are a few types of cheese each lipase word work will in.

Mild lipase Blue, Mozzarella, and Parmesan

Sharp Lipase Romano and Provolone

Our lipase is available in either mild or sharp:

  • Mild Lipase: A calf derived flavor enzyme that will add a mild flavor to Italian cheese including Mozzarella, Parmesan and Feta.
  • Sharp Lipase : A lamb derived (capilase) flavor enzyme that will add a piquant flavor to Italian cheese including Romano and Provolone.

Using Lipase:

1/2 hour before use, dissolve 1/8 tsp of lipase for every 2 gallons of milk in 1/4 cup cool, non-chlorinated water. Add to milk at the same time as culture. Amount used can be adjusted to personal taste. We recommend no more than 1/4 tsp for every 2 gallons of milk.

Can lipase be added to any cheese to give it a stronger flavor - Baby Swiss, Derby, Farmhouse Cheddar, Tomme? As a chef blends ingredients to achieve specific flavors and textures, cheese makers should also consider the same approach.

Lipase is used fairly selectively in cheese making. Its primary use is in the traditional cheeses that come from southern Italy. Effectively, lipase produces that strong, fiery flavor in cheeses like aged Provolone and some of the Romanos.

Lipase works on the butterfat, breaking it down into characteristic flavors. When deciding to use it, think if this flavor is appropriate in the cheese you're making or not.

Most cheese makers feel that lipase flavors do not blend well with the styles mentioned above. Their strong points in these types of cheese are the natural flavors of milk, adding lipase tends to mask those natural flavors.

If I put lipase powder in a farmhouse cheese, would it make it sharper so I would not have to age it so long? The sharpness from a cheddar is mostly from protein breakdown (protease), whereas, lipase is an enzyme that focuses on changing the lipids or fat in cheese.

So, no, lipase in cheddar will not give you an early aging cheese. This is not to say that there is no natural lipase working in cheddar, but the dominance is the protease activity.

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