Deciding When to Add Lipase
Q. Can lipase be added to any cheese to give it a stronger flavor - Baby Swiss, Derby, Farmhouse Cheddar, Tomme?
A. 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 cheesemakers 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.
Aging Time When Adding Lipase
Q. If I put lipase powder in a farmhouse cheese, would it make it sharper so I would not have to age it so long?
A. 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.