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Course Description

Fermentation via lactic acid bacteria is critical to the manufacture of many cheese varieties. It is also one of the more complex and evolving areas of cheese making technology. This 3-week, fully online course is an overview of lactic cultures as well as secondary cultures such as white and blue molds in the context of the manufacture of cheese and other fermented dairy products. Participants will join a series of online presentations, videos, practical exercises, online discussions, quizzes and thoughtful assignments. 

Learning Outcomes

By the end of the course, the learner will:

  1. Recognize the name and use of common lactic acid bacteria;
  2. Select and mix and match cultures to achieve particular goals such as rate of acid production and flavour development
  3. Prepare and use batch cultures in cheese making;
  4. Interpret analytical data related to fermentations, culture activity and bacteriphages;
  5. Identify and manage or account for factors such as heat treatment or salting that may affect growth and by products produced by cultures.

Course Topics


  1. Overview of Dairy Microbiology and Fermentations
  2. General Functions, characteristics and classification of Lactic cultures
  3. Non-starter bacteria and secondary cultures in cheese making (yeasts and molds)
  4. Lactic cultures in cheese making: roles of cultures in differing cheeses such as Swiss, Italian, Fresh, Smear ripened, Blue, Oka.
  5. Cultures in other dairy products (yogurts, kefir, fermented milks, buttermilk).
  6. Pre- and probiotics in dairy products
  7. Culture production, distribution and storage
  8. Bacteriophage and problem solving in cheese making, such as: Bitterness generation and reduction mechanisms; compositional issues with starter activity; interaction of starters and NSLAB; Salt issues)



Assessment Item Weight
Three quizzes 25%
Three assignments 75%
Total 100%


Resource: Cheese Education e-Book

Applies Towards the Following Certificates

Technical Requirements

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*Course details are subject to change.




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