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How is Cheese Made?
The Science Behind Curds

Understand how acids form curds in milk through a mini-lab and explanation of the phenomena using concepts of electrostatic charges and solubility.

grade:

6-9

time:

1-2 class periods

active lab time:

6-8

minutes

objectives:

  • Experience how casein proteins precipitate from milk when acid is added

  • Learn why and how casein proteins change when an acid is added to milk

  • Understand why casein proteins become insoluble during cheesemaking

science concepts:

chemical changes, acids/bases, solubility, intermolecular forces, enzymes

essential questions:

  • What ingredients are in cheese?

  • How do we make cheese?

  • What occurs when we add an acid to milk and why?

other cheesy content

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Chemistry of Cheese "Textbook" Anchor Reading

This 19-page reading serves as a resource for both teachers and students. It..

  • Summarizes history & science of cheese

  • Explains key concepts in detail with illustrations

  • Shares peer-reviewed scientific research in age-appropriate language

  • Provides starting points and information to empower student-directed labs

Other Lessons

Ricotta: Solubility (HS)

Explore the science of precipitation and solubility through curd formation and homemade ricotta.

Grade Level:

9

11

-

PBL Unit: Chemistry of Cheesemaking

Explore the chemical processes behind coagulation and cheese texture. Then design your own experiment to explore cheesemaking.

Grade Level:

9

12

-

Paneer & Calcium

Explore how calcium content impacts curd formation and structure through different trials of paneer cheese.

Grade Level:

10

12

-

Mozzarella's Stretch: Rennet & Intermolecular Forces

Students will explore how rennet works and the process of heat & stretching in cheese making by making mozzarella.

Grade Level:

9

12

-

How is Cheese Made?

Understand how acids form curds in milk through a mini-lab and explanation of the phenomena using concepts of electrostatic charges and solubility.

Grade Level:

6

9

-

Ricotta: Reactions & Acids (MS)

Explore the chemical reaction and formation of curds in cheese making through homemade ricotta.

Grade Level:

6

9

-

Tinkering in Science with Food & Cooking

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