untypical texture in a young cheese is a strong indication of probable flavour defects later; therefore, a primary objective of cheese making is to develop the ultrastructure which will determine the proper texture
conformation of the protein matrix is also influenced by pH--at lower pH micelles are disrupted, but the proteins are tightly packed because of reduced charge repulsion; therefore, Feta is brittle while Camembert is soft and smooth due to alkalinity contributed by ammonia during ripening
cheese drained at higher pH has higher calcium content and is firmer and more elastic
firmness is also affected by ripening agents (see 11.6 Flavour control)
other factors also play a role--salt, moisture, and fat, but none of these will alter the basic structure of the protein matrix at the submicellar level.