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What kind of milk is used to make cheese?

When it comes to the art of cheese making there are many different combinations of milk that can be used. From raw cow’s milk to pasteurised goat’s milk and everything in between you can create a cheese with only a few slight variations in technique.

Of course, when it comes to choosing which animal milk you will put into your cheese, it is often down to preference on technique, taste and resulting colour, for example a goat’s milk will only make a pure white cheese with a slightly more acidic flavour compared to its cow’s milk counterpart.

Cheese makers over the centuries have perfected their own techniques using their preferred type of milk, but what kinds of milk should cheese makers be using? Below we will explore the best types of milk for the cheese making process.

Types of milk for cheese making

Types of milk for cheese making


Pasteurised whole milk is one of the most popular choices when it comes to producing cheese. Pasteurised milk is milk that has been heated to destroy a large proportion of bacteria present. Pasteurised milk is what you would purchase from any supermarket, the process of pasteurisation increases the storage life of the milk. However, due to the fact that bacteria is destroyed in the process, cheese makers must add further ingredients to boost the cheese production.


Ultra-pasteurised milk has been heated to such an extent that all organisms present within the raw form of milk are destroyed, as well as the protein structure. Subsequently this type of milk is not used for cheese making as it would fail to develop into a curd.

Raw milk

Raw milk is quite often used in cheese making as it has not been heated to destroy bacteria, and therefore can be easily used to produce our favourite cheeses. Due to the fact that it is not heat treated, cheese makers are able to add significantly less ingredients, as necessary with pasteurised milk. Of course, as bacteria hasn’t been destroyed, it is vital that raw milk used in the cheese making process comes from a healthy animal.

Skimmed milk

One of the most common questions we are asked is whether or not skimmed milk can be used to make cheese. The answer is yes, but skimmed milk tends to be ideal for hard cheeses such as parmesan. Other cheeses are made using a mixture of skimmed and whole milk to make it that bit harder than would be achieved by using whole milk alone.

Here at J.S. Bailey we have perfected our cheese making process to ensure only the highest quality cheese is made and supplied to the businesses we work with. Take a look at our cheese product range and place your order with us today.