There are hundreds of different types of cheese that can be differentiated both by the type of milk and by its origin: raw or pasteurized, cow, goat, sheep, buffalo, horse or camel…
People have been using it since prehistoric times, which can be
considered a discovery of the first cheese production
Not only are they an exceptional gourmet delight, but cheeses
are also the source of nutrients in forms that the body can easily
Cheese is a concentrated source of proteins with high biological
value and almost all persons, regardless of their age, are
recommended to consume all types of cheeses daily.
Casein is the main milk protein which breaks down in the process
of cheese ripening into essential amino acids needed to build
muscle and other tissues, for cell and organ regeneration,
functioning of the central nervous system and which need to be
brought in by food, in order to have a proper growth, development
and well-being of the body.
The content of proteins depends on the type of cheese and milk
it was produced from (on the average, 9 to 37.5%). The harder and
older the cheese, the more protein it contains. Given the daily
protein requirements in adults and the average protein content in
semi-hard cheeses that are usually consumed in our country, 100 g
of cheese meets one third of daily protein needs.
The fat content of cheese can vary from approximately 5 g per
100 g in dry curd cottage cheeses to about 30 g per 100 g in extra
fat cheeses. Milk fat, unlike other animal fats, has more
short-chain fatty acids of suitable structure and a lower melting
point, which helps improve their digestibility. Therefore, cheese
can be considered a desirable source of fat in the diet.
Cheese is a source of fat-soluble vitamins (vitamins A, D, E, K)
and water-soluble vitamins (B group vitamins: B1, B2, B6, B12,
folic acid), but also of minerals, especially calcium, phosphorus
and magnesium. Calcium is the most important mineral in the body
considering its share. 100 g of semi-hard cheese contains on
average about 800 mg of calcium, which provides for 100% of daily
calcium requirement, while 100 g of hard cheese contains as many as
1300 mg of calcium, which is the recommended daily calcium
allowance for people suffering from osteoporosis. It is almost
impossible to find a better source of calcium in the diet.
Although in smaller shares, but no less important for the
organism, potassium, iron, copper and zinc are also present in
Energy of cheese derives from its proteins and fats, because
there is no lactose - milk carbohydrate in cheeses, except in
farmer's and soft cheese. The average energy value of semi-hard
cheeses is around 350 kcal per 100 g, and the average energy
requirements of a healthy adult with moderate physical activity
range from 2100 to 2900 kcal, whereas in adolescents and adults who
are physically active they can amount up to 5000 kcal. Differences
in cheese consumption between these groups can be in respect to the
amount and type of cheese, while the daily cheese consumption is
welcome in all age groups.
However, beside its peculiar nutritional value and
digestibility, cheese has a specific cultural significance. Even in
ancient Rome meals ended with cheese, a tradition that has been
kept in some Mediterranean countries up to date. Thus, for example,
it is typical of French to indulge in consumption of cheeses which
have become an inseparable dessert of traditional French
Daily consumption of cheese is welcome, not only because of
pleasure it provides, but also because the cheese has a positive
effect on preservation of tooth enamel and protects teeth from
caries. The above effect is attributed to the stimulating effect of
cheese on increased production of saliva which raises pH in the
mouth. It is believed that some ingredients of cheese, such as
fatty acids, may have antibacterial impact.
Finally, in order to preserve all cheese features, from flavour
and smell to the nutritional value, keep it in the refrigerator,
protected so as not to lose moisture. To make your enjoyment
complete, take cheese out of the refrigerator at least half an hour
before consumption, to let its full aroma develop.