What are the factors which influence milk quality?
Like all farmers know, the milk is not the same throughout the year. It is most abundant in summer but less concentrated in fat or protein. In winter some farmers offset the low energy hay by:
-silage corn or grass. Silage is the conservation of the plant in a relatively wet condition thanks to anaerobic fermentation, that is to say bacteria that do not use oxygen.
-concentrates: cereals (like wheat, corn), alfalfa pellets, molasses (sugar), soybean oilcake for examples. The cake is the plant after pressing which has recovered its oil.
The intake of these supplements above all silage is framed for cheese labeled (red label, AOC ...) Indeed silage has a bad influence on cheese taste and can also create underisable fermentations during ripening, causing cracks in the volumes of cheese.
Other factors of variation in the quality of the milk are directly dependent on the animal. Eg milk has a different constitution when a cow is young or close to the reform (that is how we talk about stopping the productive life of cows).
When a cow has calved (birth to a calf) her milk becomes more abundant for about 50 days and the amount decreases while protein and fat percentages follow the opposite trend.
The breed of the beast itself is an important factor. For example, prim holstein, these black and white cows, which are found everywhere in France, have an abundant milk but quite poor. However, Montbeliard, the Vosges or the Norman produce less milk but it is richer and therefore superior to manufacture cheese.