Kenyan dairy farmers can venture into cheese making for more returns other than selling milk alone thanks to Baraka Farm, a dairy farm in Eldoret which has been training farmers on how to use surplus milk they produce to make the dairy by-product.
According to the farm, there is only a handful of artisan cheesemakers in Kenya but the market potential invites more farmstead producers—those who only work with milk from their own animals.
In the market, fresh milk sells at average of Sh35 per litre while 1Kg wheel of cheese, from 10litres of milk sells at Sh800.
Value addition to milk doubles the price, although other materials used in the process cost 40 per cent of the price of the product.
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Among the ingredients needed for professional cheese making are potassium nitrate, starter culture, rennet, wax and colour.
Potassium nitrate is added to improve the keeping quality, while the starter culture is used for the introduction of bacteria, whose main purpose is acid production.
During the ripening process, the bacteria play other essential roles by producing volatile flavor compounds (like diacetyl, aldehydes), by releasing enzymes involved in cheese ripening.
Besides, they produce natural antibiotic substances that suppress growth of pathogens and other spoilage microorganism.
Rennet is a natural complex of enzymes that coagulates (solidifies) the milk, separating it into the solid curd and liquid whey.
For practical classes on cheese making, interested farmers can contact the Baraka using the phone numbers: +254 700 342 758 and +254 705 884 233 or Emails: firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com