The Choozit ST 20 range uses a series of frozen DVI (direct to vat inoculation) cultures that are highly active, which the company says provides optimum culture activity to make stabilised soft cheese with smooth mouth feel and clean flavour. Danisco has developed frozen cultures for making hard cheeses, but this is the first time it has worked with this form of the culture for application in stabilised soft cheeses. As well as being convenient as it can be added directly to the milk, it is this form that makes it so efficient, according to John Rea global business director. He told FoodNavigator.com: "The combination of the low dosage required and the fast acidification process makes it less costly and more productive, while maintaining mineral content. Previous cultures have been slow to react, causing the calcium to precipitate." The culture activates itself very quickly after inoculation, providing a very short lag phase, during which minerals can be lost. After the fast activation, a gentle and controlled exponential phase is required to keep acidity low and optimise the moisture and fat content, thereby achieving the creaminess and mildness of camembert and brie and maintaining calcium content. When using the culture, the mixture reaches pH 5.2 in approximately six hours depending on the technology used, and the pH remains stable after de-moulding, creating a controlled and reproducible acidification curve. For a more rigid, crumbly cheese, a longer lag phase would be needed, followed by a sharp drop in acid content. Annie Mornet, head of Danisco cheese application laboratories in Gange, said: "Flexibility is also one of the strongest benefits of the Choozit ST 20 cultures as they adapt to the temperatures and processing times used in all soft stabilised cheese technologies." The new range comprises three bacteriophage-unrelated frozen DVI cultures that can be combined with the existing Choozit PC and Choozit GEO lines, which create the white mould for soft cheeses. Danisco launched Choozit ST 20 a couple of months ago in France to its test customers. On the back of its success, it now wants to provide the range to cheese makers in Germany, Switzerland and Austria.