cheese making is a process of removing moisture from a rennet coagulum or an acid coagulum consisting of fat globules (unless the milk is skimmed) and water droplets trapped in a matrix of casein micelles
cheese is, therefore, a concentrate of milk protein and fat.
most cheese making operations are related to this process of removing water from the milk gel by the process of syneresis
syneresis = to contract; refers to contraction of the protein network with the resulting expulsion of water from the curd
the water and water soluble components are literally squeezed out of the curd
this liquid, (whey) contains water, sugar, whey proteins, lactic acid and some of the milk minerals
the final moisture content, therefore, to a large extent determines the final pH of the cheese because it determines the residual amount of fermentable lactose in the cheese
at the same time other factors such as the amount and rate of acid development and the temperature and time of cooking, determine the amount and the rate of syneresis