Cheese is a popular food all over the world, and Italy is one of the major producers in terms of quantity and quality. Rennet is a key ingredient in the manufacturing process because it allows the coagulation of milk, and hence its transformation into curd. Animal rennet is the oldest and most widely employed milk-coagulating agent, but enzymes with milk-clotting activity also occur in some plants. However, the use of vegetable coagulants is mainly restricted to artisan local productions. In recent years, dietary, religious, and even legal factors have driven the research toward the exploitation of animal rennet substitutes thus leading to an increased interest towards vegetable coagulants. The present review describes the current situation on the use of vegetable coagulants in cheesemaking, with a particular focus on Italy, and some typical productions of the Marche Region.
Cheeses curdled with vegetable rennet: high quality dairy productions from Italy and beyond [Formaggi a caglio vegetale: produzioni lattiero-casearie di pregio italiane e non solo] / Cesaro, Cristiana; Rampanti, Giorgia; Cardinali, Federica; Milanovic, Vesna; Garofalo, Cristiana; Osimani, Andrea; Aquilanti, Lucia. - In: INDUSTRIE ALIMENTARI. - ISSN 0019-901X. - STAMPA. - 62:645(2023), pp. 5-12.