FAQ Feta Cheese
Made from sheep's milk or mixture of it with goat milk. It has a slightly salty and sour taste and natural white color. Can be classified as organic product produced by milk from animals fed free range, where there no insecticides used, pesticides or other contaminants. It is consumed as table cheese, fried and used in salad and cheese. The average composition is: moisture 52.9%, fat 26.2%, protein 16.7%, salt 2.9% and pH 4,4.
Feta is the most famous cheese produced since the time of Homer. It is a soft, Feta Cheese which ripens and is kept in brine for two months. An important part of the Greek diet associated with the history and traditions. The average consumption of Feta in Greece is the highest in the world, reaching about 12 kg / person. For the preparation of the cheese, initially becomes standardized goat milk to fat and protein, so that the relationship of casein to fat is from 0.75 to 0.8.
The milk after standardization is determined and pasteurized at 68oC for 10 min (slow pasteurization), or at 72 ° C for 15 sec (Fast pasteurization). After pasteurization the milk is cooled to 34-36oC, lactic acid bacterial cultures are added, calcium chloride in a ratio 10-20g/100 kg milk and after about 20 min enough rennet is added for coagulation time to occur within 45-60 min. The curd is then divided into blocks of edge about 1-2 cm, stands still for 10 min, is stirred very gently, and again allowed to stand for 10 min. and then transferred to molds. The molds are metallic or plastic stainless, rectangular or cylindrical shaped, with a large number of holes throughout its surface to facilitate draining of the curd. After installation of the curd in the molds, they are maintained at a temperature of 16-18oC, inverted 2-3 times, and the curd, salted with coarse salt on the surface until the following day, so as to remove the desired amount of whey. The next day, the cheese is removed from the molds, divided into wedge-shaped or rectangular pieces, placed temporarily in open barrels or containers in layers salted with coarse salt, in an amount of 3% of the weight of the cheese. After 2-3 days, the pieces of cheese are placed in barrels or tins, covered with brine 7% and transferred to chamber of temperature 16-18 ° C, where they remain for 10-15 days to complete the first stage of maturation. Then they are transferred to cold storage at a temperature of 2-5 ° C until 2 months of preparation are completed. When maturation is completed, according to the law, they are ready for disposal.
Feta cheese has been established by the European Commission as a product of protected designation of origin (PDO). This means that the name "Feta" can not be used in cheese of similar recommendation made abroad or of another process than the traditional. PDO is adopted by the EU to protect the products of local origin and it came into force in 1996. The registration of feta in the list of products of PDO caused many reactions from countries that produced large Feta Cheese quantities until then, such as Denmark, France and Germany. The registration was canceled by the Court of Justice in March 1999 (joined Cases C-289/96, C 293/96 and C 299/96). The Commission has proceeded in an analytic research, which finally concluded that Feta cheese should be protected as a ''protected designation of origin'' product. In October 2002 a new regulation re-posted feta in the list of products PDO according to European Law. New appeal of Denmark and Germany against this regulation was finally rejected by the ECJ in 2005 (Joined Cases C-465/02 and C-466/02).