Whole Milk Mozzarella and Part Skim Mozzarella

Ok, so I’ve been in the business for almost 25 years… I need help with this one:

We buy Loafs of cheese and grate using our hobart. The recipe calls forWhole Milk Mozzarella and an equal amount of Part Skim mozzarella. My partner said that 20-25 years ago there used to be a price difference on the cheese. Just like milk, Whole milk is more expensive than Part Skim.

Now, the price of the cheese is the same! Is there any other reason why I should be using Part Skim Mozzarella? For example…it melts better etc.? Or, you should still do this because…??

Thanks for your help


Whole milk has a higher butter fat content, hence a different flavor profile than a lower butterfat content product like part-skim…you may get a larger “pool” of “grease” if only using WM - but the question begs - if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it…

drink a glass of whole milk & glass of skim<which do you prefer…?

besides what Patriot said, you might notice a difference in the appearance…the whole milk should brown more than part skim

Famous hit it for our operation . . . browning and oven performance. Our old oven baked much lower and actually oiled out with straight whole milk. Now, we have a real pizza deck, and the whole milk gives us better flavor and good performance in terms of browning and oiling.

Try a sample of whole milk and see how it bakes up side-by-side with your current cheese. Then the taste test … mmmmmm.

This is an excellent informational page about all of the cheeses related to pizza. I don’t know of any better, more concise, but essentially complete resource.

From: “Encyclopizza”
http://www.correllconcepts.com/Encyclop … c533730609

MILKFAT CONTENT. Mozzarella varies widely in milkfat content. For example, the amount of fat in low-moisture, part-skim can range from 30 to 45 percent milkfat-in-solids.

To confuse matters, the label on part-skim mozza­rella often indicates the type of milk used in making the cheese. Examples would be “1-1/2 percent part-skim moz­zarella” and “2 percent part-skim mozza­rella.” Logically, a buyer would assume that the product labeled “2 percent” would have more fat than that labeled “1-1/2 percent,” since 2 percent skim milk has more fat than 1-1/2 percent skim. But that’s not necessarily true. The reason is, a cheese-maker might start with milk containing 2 percent milkfat and then skim it down to 1-1/2 percent during the cheese-making process, or might even add milkfat for purposes of reducing product cost. So instead of focusing on whether the label says “part-skim” or “whole milk,” it’s better to be concerned with the percent of milkfat in the cheese. To accurately compare two brands of mozzar­ella, get the specification sheet for the product and don’t go by the brand or what’s written on the label.

Even within a given brand, the percent of milkfat might vary over time as the economics of cheese-making change. For example, years ago there was strong government price support for butter. This resulted in a dairy being able to sell butter at a higher price than mozzarella. So to maximize profitability cheese-makers would skim as much fat from the milk as allowed by the spec before making the milk into cheese. This resulted in part-skim mozzarella having a fat content at the low end of the allowable specification. For instance, if the spec called for a milkfat-in-solids range of 33 to 39 percent, the cheese-maker produced cheese with close to 33 percent fat.

Today, however, with lower price support by the government, butter sells for less than mozzarella. So a cheese-maker can earn more profit by keeping the milk­fat in the cheese rather than by skimming it off and sell­ing it for butter. Using the previous example, the manu­facturer would now produce a mozzarella with milkfat at the upper end of the specification, or 39 percent fat. A cheese with 39 percent fat will bake up differently than one with 33 percent. Of course, the product label would be the same, so the pizzeria owner would have no way of knowing that the product is changing. Again, obtain a spec sheet for the product and, when comparing brands of mozzarella, find out exactly what the moisture and milkfat percents are. Otherwise you might end up comparing “apples to oranges,” as the saying goes.

In summary, higher fat mozzarella has a soft, pasty texture in both unbaked and baked forms. It oils-off excessively during baking and has poor stretch. It tends to blend with the sauce, forming “sauce holes,” or spots where the sauce oozes through the cheese. Finally, when it cools on the pizza it takes on a transparent look, which many pizza-eaters equate with “cold, dried out pizza.”


Whole Milk vs. Part-Skim
REMEMBER: When we speak of mozzarella in this chapter we’re referring to the low-moisture types even though we may not include the words “low-moisture.”

A long-time debate in pizza circles concerns the merits of low-moisture whole milk mozzarella vs. low-mois­ture part-skim. There’s no one right answer to the debate. Each of the two types has advan­tages and drawbacks. You should select the one that best fits your situation and priorities. In summary, here’s how they compare.

PRICE. At one time part-skim was cheaper than whole milk mozzarella. This was during a time of strong government price support for butter—which enabled a dairy to sell milkfat (i.e., butterfat) at a higher price than mozzarella. Skimming the fat from milk and sell­ing it to the government enabled cheese-makers to sell part-skim mozzarella at a lower price than whole milk cheese. Today, however, with dropping government price support the part-skim variety enjoys little or no price advantage.

CURING SPEED. The higher the milkfat content, the faster the rate of curing. So whole milk mozza­rella tends to age more quickly than does part-skim. This results in a shorter usage window, or shorter time when cheese quality is at its optimum. When it over-ages it becomes mushy and diff­icult to shred or chop.

MELT. Whole milk mozzarella might melt a little more quickly than does part-skim but, basically, given cheese of similar moisture content and age, there might not be a large difference.

BROWNING. Some experts say that whole milk mozza­rella browns a little more than does part-skim. Others say that part-skim browns more than does whole milk. To con­fuse matters even more, a university test showed little difference. The author’s experience is that, every­thing else being equal, the lower fat (i.e., part-skim) cheese will brown more than the higher fat cheese.

However, other factors affect browning more than fat level. The main factor affecting browning is the lactose (i.e., milk sugar) level of the cheese and also, to a lesser extent, the protein content. The more lactose and pro­tein, the greater the browning. Other factors are age and salt content. Under-aged or young mozzarella doesn’t melt well and browns with a dry appearance. Some people say that over-age mozza­rella browns less but, once again, the same university test showed little differ­ence in browning with cheese age. Also, when salt con­tent is too high, cheese tends to form little black burnt spots. Finally, freezing block cheese in a pizzeria can cause exces­sive browning in baking.

It’s worth noting that the desire for cheese browning varies among pizzerias. In a survey done several years ago, 55 percent of pizzeria operators wanted cheese to brown slightly, while 45 percent wanted no browning.

STRETCH. Stretch is a function of milk protein and how it was developed (i.e., kneaded) during cheese manufacture. Since protein content is similar there’s little difference in stretch between whole milk and part-skim. However, if pressed to find a difference, part-skim probably has a little more stretch.

TEXTURE. Because of its higher oil content, whole milk mozzarella has a softer texture. Conversely, part-skim has a chewier texture.

FLAVOR. Because of the greater amount of milkfat, whole milk mozzarella will have a slightly creamier flavor. Also, it develops a stronger flavor during aging.

“COVERAGE.” The ability of cheese to provide a full, yellow color after baking is referred to as “coverage.” Because of its higher oil content, whole milk mozzarella has a more transparent appearance on baked pizza. For that reason some pizzeria owners feel they need to use more of it to achieve coverage. In short, part-skim mozzarella provides slightly better coverage than does whole milk.

HOLDING ABILITY. For pizzerias that deliver pizza or hold it in a warming cabinet, how baked cheese holds up under warm conditions is important. Whole milk moz­zarella, because of its higher fat content, will stay gooey just slightly longer than part-skim. However it tends to take on a transpar­ent look more quickly than part-skim. For this reason, carry-out and delivery oper­ations, as well as pizza buffets, often opt for part-skim because it retains a full, yellow color for a longer time.

Also important to holding ability is the age of the cheese. Under-age cheese congeals very quickly in a warmer, or hot holding cabinet. Other impor­tant factors are baking time and tem­perature, amount of cheese used, and temperature and humidity of the holding cabinet.

OIL-OFF. Because of its higher fat content, whole milk mozzarella will oil-off more than part-skim. Oiling-off increases with the age of cheese. Oily appear­ance is also a function of fatty toppings.

PROCESSABILITY. An important aspect of mozza­rella is how easily it slices, shreds, or chops. The firmer it is, the easier it is to process. Generally speaking, whole milk mozzarella is softer than part-skim, so it’s often a bit more difficult to process. Also, because whole milk cheese ages faster it gets mushier faster than does part-skim.

If that does not answer your question, please click the link for much more details.

This is just a tiny part of some very well written material. I strongly suggest that anyone who has questions about cheese used on pizza read this first. If anyone is aware of an even better resource, I hope you can share the link with us all here. :smiley:

Hope it helps!

How is the browning difference of the cheeses in a conveyor oven?

I’d be concerned about changing any component of my pizza if I’ve been around for 25 years! You got that loyal clientele because they like your product

I’m not seeing more browning, I’m seeing the opposite
and I am not seeing it oil out like I expected. I’ve also had to drop the sugar content in my dough from 2% to 1% to lessen my crust browning to get some more bake time on the cheese. I do not know if this is due to using Grande brand, or my not-so-common ovens. (Sveba Dahlen Classic Electric’s with independent deck, top & front to rear differential heat controls)

I had to set my oven control at zero for deck heat control, And max the top heat to get more doneness on our cheese to meet local tastes (Many like their cheese browned in this area)
A few weeks back an employee with a mild lactose intolerance asked why we need to use whole milk cheese, and if I could ever do a part skim cheese pizza for him so it did not hit him as hard.
So I baked up a pie with what was available locally for a part skim cheese. After a few bites he set it down and said; “really? this kinda blows compared to what we make” Right there is why I use whole milk cheese!