Yellow flower of Momordica cochinchinensis, Gac…Hoa vàng của dây Gấc…

A few nice special k diet images I found:

Yellow flower of Momordica cochinchinensis, Gac…Hoa vàng của dây Gấc…
special k diet
Image by Vietnam Plants & The USA. plants
Vietnamese named ( tên tiếng Việt ) : Gấc.
English name ( tên tiếng Anh ) : Gac, Baby Jackfruit, Spiny Bitter Gourd, Sweet Gourd, or Cochinchin Gourd

Scientist name ( tên Khoa Học ) : Momordica cochinchinensis
Synonyms ( tên khác đồng nghĩa ) :
Family ( họ của cây ) : Cucurbitaceae . Họ Bầu Bí

Searched from ( TÌm thông tin từ ) :

**** TRUNG TÂM DỮ LIỆU THỰC VẬT VIETNAM
www.botanyvn.com/cnt.asp?param=news&newsid=138
Cây gấc, một đặc sản truyền thống ở Việt Nam
Cập nhật ngày 3/7/2008 .

Tại Việt Nam, thịt gấc được sử dụng chủ yếu để nhuộm màu các loại xôi, gọi là xôi gấc. Vì sắc đỏ nên xôi gấc được chuộng trong những việc khao vọng, đình đám trong các dịp lễ tết hay cưới hỏi. Người ta dùng áo hạt (màng hạt) và hạt của nó đánh với một ít rượu để trộn lẫn với gạo nếp sau đó đem thổi thành xôi, giúp cho món xôi có màu đỏ và thay đổi hương vị

Thông tin chung:

Tên phổ thông: Gấc
Tên khác: Mộc miết quả
Tên tiếng Anh: Gac
Tên khoa học: Momordica cochinchinensis (Lour.) Spreng.
Thuộc họ Bầu bí – Cucurbitaceae

Gấc là loài cây thân thảo dây leo thuộc chi Momordica . Cây gấc leo khỏe, chiều dài có thể mọc đến 15m. Thân dây có tiết diện góc. Lá gấc nhẵn, thùy hình chân vịt phân ra từ 3 đến 5 dẻ, dài 8-18 cm. Gấc là loài đơn tính khác gốc (dioecious). Hoa sắc vàng. Quả hình tròn, sắc xanh, khi chín chuyển sang màu đỏ cam, đường kính 15-20 cm. Vỏ gấc có gai rậm. Bổ ra mỗi quả thường có sáu múi. Thịt gấc màu đỏ cam. Hạt gấc màu nâu thẫm, hình dẹp, có khía. Gấc trổ hoa mùa hè sang mùa thu, đến mùa đông mới chín. Mỗi năm gấc chỉ thu hoạch được một mùa. Do vụ thu hoạch tương đối ngắn (vào khoảng tháng 12 hay tháng 1), nên gấc ít phổ biến hơn các loại quả khác.
Gấc giàu các chất carotenoit và lycopen.

Sử dụng:
Tại Việt Nam, thịt gấc được sử dụng chủ yếu để nhuộm màu các loại xôi, gọi là xôi gấc. Vì sắc đỏ nên xôi gấc được chuộng trong những việc khao vọng, đình đám trong các dịp lễ tết hay cưới hỏi. Người ta dùng áo hạt (màng hạt) và hạt của nó đánh với một ít rượu để trộn lẫn với gạo nếp sau đó đem thổi thành xôi, giúp cho món xôi có màu đỏ và thay đổi hương vị.

Lá gấc non thái chỉ còn được dùng như một loại gia vị không thể thiếu trong món củ niễng xào rươi, một món ăn đặc biệt ở miền Bắc.

Gần đây, quả gấc đã bắt đầu được tiếp thị ra ngoài khu vực châu Á trong dạng nước ép trái cây bổ dưỡng, dầu gấc do nó có chứa hàm lượng tương đối cao các dinh dưỡng thực vật.

Ngoài việc sử dụng trong ẩm thực, gấc còn được sử dụng trong y học tại Việt Nam. Màng hạt được dùng để hỗ trợ điều trị bệnh khô mắt, giúp tăng cường thị lực do nó là nguồn khá tốt để bổ sung vitamin A dưới dạng carotenoit. Tương tự, trong y học cổ truyền Trung Hoa người ta cũng dùng hạt gấc (mộc miết tử, 木鳖子) cả trong cơ thể lẫn ngoài da. Phân tích hóa học của quả gấc cho thấy nó có hàm lượng cao của một số chất dinh dưỡng thực vật, điều này đã gây chú ý cho một số học giả Nhật Bản và phương Tây.

Gấc đặc biệt giàu lycopen. Theo tỷ lệ khối lượng, nó chứa nhiều lycopen gấp 70 lần cà chua. Người ta cũng phát hiện thấy nó chứa beta-caroten nhiều gấp 10 lần cà rốt hoặc khoai lang. Ngoài ra, các carotenoit có mặt trong gấc liên kết với các axít béo mạch dài, tạo ra kết quả là nó có tính hoạt hóa sinh học cao hơn. Một nghiên cứu gần đây cho thấy gấc chứa các loại protein có thể ngăn cản sự phát triển của các tế bào ung thư.

Tác dụng dược lý:
Về tác dụng dược lý, màng hạt gấc cho dầu gấc chứa lượng beta-caroten rất cao. Beta-caroten là một tiền chất của vitamin A. Khi uống beta-caroten, dưới tác dụng của men carotenase có trong gan và thành ruột, beta-caroten được chuyển thành vitamin A. Vitamin A rất cần cho cơ thể, có ảnh hưởng tới sự chuyển hóa lipid, nguyên tố vi lượng và photpho. Nó duy trì sự hoàn chỉnh của tổ chức biểu mô như da và niêm mạc.

Khi có vitamin A, các tế bào biểu mô được kích thích để sản sinh ra chất nhày. Nếu thiếu vitamin A, các tế bào biểu mô này sẽ teo đi, thay vào đó là các tế bào sừng hóa, điển hình là bệnh khô mắt, tế bào giác mạc bị sừng hóa, làm mất độ trong suốt của giác mạc dẫn tới mù lòa.

Vitamin A còn tham gia vào sự tạo chất rhodopsin, một chất nhạy cảm với ánh sáng, tồn tại trong các que võng mạc, giữ vai trò quan trọng đối với thị giác lúc hoàng hôn. Nếu chế độ ăn uống thiếu vitamin A, thì nồng độ rhodopsin ở võng mạc sẽ giảm, các que võng mạc bị biến đổi hình dạng dẫn tới rối loạn thị giác, nhất là lúc hoàng hôn như trong bệnh quáng gà.

Vitamin A còn là yếu tố cần cho sự sinh trưởng. Phụ nữ có thai và trẻ sơ sinh có nhu cầu vitamin A lớn hơn người thường. Vitamin A có tác dụng tăng sức đề kháng của cơ thể, chống nhiễm khuẩn ở mọi lứa tuổi, đặc biệt ở trẻ em và bệnh nhân lao phổi. Vitamin A và dầu gấc có tác dụng làm lành các vết loét, vết thương và vết bỏng.

Về công dụng chữa bệnh: Dầu gấc được dùng trong các trường hợp cơ thể cần vitamin A như trẻ em chậm lớn, phụ nữ mang thai, cho con bú, bệnh khô mắt, quáng gà, người kém ăn, mệt mỏi. Dầu gấc dùng ngoài bôi vào vết thương, vết bỏng làm mau lên da non, chóng lành. Dầu gấc dùng kèm với một số thuốc kháng khuẩn đặc hiệu chữa bệnh trứng cá. Dầu gấc có tác dụng nhuận tràng, trị táo bón. Liều dùng: người lớn mỗi ngày 10-20 giọt, chia làm 2 lần uống trước 2 bữa ăn chính, trẻ em 5-10 giọt/ngày.
Hạt gấc được dùng ngoài, theo kinh nghiệm dân gian, chữa mụn nhọt, tràng nhạc, quai bị, sưng vú, tắc tia sữa, trĩ. Chữa mụn nhọt, ghẻ lở: dùng nhân hạt gấc, mài với nước bôi. Chữa sưng vú: nhân hạt gấc giã với một ít rượu 30o, đắp lên chỗ sưng đau. Chữa trĩ, lòi dom: hạt gấc giã nát, thêm một ít giấm thanh, gói bằng một miếng vải, đắp để suốt đêm.

Bài thuốc chữa phong thấp, sưng chân gồm dây gấc (phía gần gốc), phối hợp với đơn gối hạc, mộc thông, tỳ giải, mỗi vị 15g, sắc uống ngày 1 thang hoặc ngâm bài thuốc vào rượu xoa bóp..

**** WIKI TIẾNG VIỆT
vi.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gấc

**** KỶ THUẬT TRỒNG VÀ CHĂM SÓC CÂY GẤC
longdinh.com/default.asp?act=chitiet&ID=1129&catID=3

**** CỤC TRỒNG TRỌT : Cây Gấc là cây xóa nghèo … ( xin nhấp vào đường link để đọc tiếp những thông tin quý báu này )
www.cuctrongtrot.gov.vn/Tech_Science.aspx?index=detail&am…

**** VST.VISTA.GOV.VN : Cách làm dầu Gấc ( Xin nhấp vào đường link để đọc đầy đủ thông tin quý báu này )
vst.vista.gov.vn/home/item_view?objectPath=home/database/…

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**** PHILIPPINE MEDICINAL PLANTS
www.stuartxchange.org/BalbasBakiro.html
Family • Curcubitaceae
Balbas-bakiro
Momordica cochinchinensis Lour.
Mu Pi
SPINY BITTER CUCUMBER

Botany
Indigenous in Southeast Asia; sometimes called the "fruit from heaven," believed to promote longevity, health and vitality.

Botany
Coarse and dioecious vine reaching a length of 15 meters, slightly hairy or nearly smooth, climbing by tendrils. Leaves are broadly ovate, 8 to 128 cm long, deeply palmately 3-lobed, sometimes entire, with pointed tips and heart-shaped bases. Male flowers occur cingly in the leaf axils on peduncles 5-15 cm long. Buds, enclosed by a large, green inflated bracteole open at full bloom. Peduncles of the female flowers are 2.5 to 5 cm long. Calyx is nearly black with 5 acuminate lobes. Petas are pale yellow, oblong to oblong-ovate, with a large dark blotch at the base. The fruit is large, ovoid to rounded, 8-12 cm in diameter, yellow with scattered, tubercle-like spines. Seeds are large, flattened, circular, embedded in an orange-yellow pulp.

Distribution
In thickets and secondary forests, at low and medium altitudes.

Chemical constituents and characteristics
Seeds contain no alkaloid.
Kernels contain 47 % oil (similar to Chinese tung oil – Aleurites cordata).
Seeds contain a slightly bitter glucoside.
High in phytonutrients: (1) Lycopene, relative to mass, 70 times that found in tomatoes. (2) Beta-carotene, 10 times the amount in carrots or sweet potatoes.
Research suggests anti-cancer constituent.
Considered resolvent, cooling.

Properties
Pectoral, aperient, abstergent, constructive and resolvent.

Parts used and preparation
Roots, seeds, leaves.

Uses
Nutritional
Fruit of pulp is edible.
Rice colorant: In Vietnam, used for dish called "xoi gac" – a mixture of gac seed and pulp with cooked rice with its distinct color and flavor.
Folkloric
Roots are used as soap substitute and for treatment of head lice.
Seeds, pulverized or decocted, are pectoral; also good for coughs.
Plaster made from roots promote hair growth.
Seeds and leaves are aperient and abstergent.
Seeds are used for treatment of hemorrhoids.
Used for swelling of the neck, mammary abscesses, bruises, wounds, swellings and ulcers.
In Vietnam, the seed membranes are used for relief of dry eyes and to promote healthy vision; also used to make a tonic for children and lactating and pregnant women.
In Chinese medicine, used for liver and spleen disorders, wounds, hemorrhoids, bruises, swelling and pus.
Others
Roots used as a substitute for soap; for lice infestation.
In China, the fruits is used for food coloring.
In Vietnam, used to color rice for celebratory occasions, like weddings, new years, masking the usual white color of the rice, white considered the color of death.

Studies
• Gac / Fruit Carotenoids: The study showed a remarkably high concentration of lycopene.
• Immune Enhancing / Immuno-Modulatory: Immunomodulatory activity of a chymotrypsin inhibitor from Momordica cochinchinensis seeds: A chymotrypsin-specific inhibitor (MCoCI) was isolated from the seed of M. cochinchinensis. It was shown to possess immuno-enhancing and antiinflammatory effects that may explain some of its therapeutic actions.
• Gac with its high level of bioavailable carotenoids may also promote prostate health and protect the eyes from age-related macular degeneration and cataracts.
• Antioxidant: (1) Results of study on the rat hepatocyte system suggest that M cochinchinensis possessed antioxidative activity which explains some of its pharmacologic effects. (2) Study showed a chymotrypsin-specific potato type inhibitor from M cochinchinensis possessed antioxidative activity which may account for some of the pharmacologic effects of MC seeds.
• Adjuvant Immune Effect: Study showed extract of C momordica seeds, when used ovalbumin in mice, may induce significantly higher specific antibody production than OVA alone. Results suggest ECMS is safe for injection and can be used as a potential vaccine adjuvant in the production of IgG2a in mice.

Availability
Wild-crafted.

**** FLOWERS OF INDIA
www.flowersofindia.net/catalog/slides/Chinese%20Cucumber….
Common name: Chinese Cucumber, Spiny bitter-cucumber, Chinese bitter-cucumber • Hindi: ककुर Kakur, कंटोला Kantola, ककरोल Kakrol • Manipuri: কারোত Karot • Marathi: Gulkakra • Malayalam: Kshudramalakasanda • Telugu: Varivalli • Bengali: গোলককরা Golkakra • Assamese: Bhat kerala • Sanskrit: Katamala
Botanical name: Momordica cochinchinensis Family: Cucurbitaceae (Pumpkin family)
Chinese cucumber is a traditional medicinal plant in India, China and Vietnam, commonly seen growing in gardens with its red fruit and red pulp. It is found throughout Asia and Australia. It is used in cooking, to make candy and jam, and is thought to support the health of the eyes. Aril, the red, oily pulp surrounding the seeds, is cooked along with seeds to flavor and give its red color to a rice dish, xoi gac, which is served at festive occasions such as weddings in Vietnam. It has large leaves and large white flowers.
Medicinal uses: Seeds are used in Ayurvedic and Chinese traditional medicine. The total beta-carotene in this fruit is very high.
Photographed in Imphal, Manipur.
Identification credit: R.K. Nimai Singh

**** WIKI
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gac
Momordica cochinchinensis (Lour.) Spreng. is a Southeast Asian fruit found throughout the region from Southern China to Northeastern Australia.

Etymology

It is commonly known as gac, from the Vietnamese gấc (pronounced [ʒə́k]) or quả gấc (quả meaning "fruit"). It is known as mùbiēguǒ (木鳖果) in Chinese, and variously as Baby Jackfruit, Spiny Bitter Gourd, Sweet Gourd, or Cochinchin Gourd in English.

Characteristics

Because it has a relatively short harvest season (which peaks in December and January), making it less abundant than other foods, gac is typically served at ceremonial or festive occasions in Vietnam, such as Tết (the Vietnamese new year) and weddings. It is most commonly prepared as a dish called xôi gấc, in which the aril and seeds of the fruit are cooked in glutinous rice, imparting both their color and flavor. More recently, the fruit has begun to be marketed outside of Asia in the form of juice dietary supplements because of its allegedly high phytonutrient content.

Growth

Gac grows on dioecious vines and is usually collected from fence climbers or from wild plants. The vines can be commonly seen growing on lattices at the entrances to rural homes or in gardens. It only fruits once a year, and is found seasonally in local markets. The fruit itself becomes a dark orange color upon ripening, and is typically round or oblong, maturing to a size of about 13 cm in length and 10 cm in diameter. Its exterior skin is covered in small spines while its dark red interior consists of clusters of fleshy pulp and seeds.

Medicinal and Nutritional Uses

Traditionally, gac has been used as both food and medicine in the regions in which it grows. Other than the use of its fruit and leaves for special Vietnamese culinary dishes, gac is also used for its medicinal and nutritional properties. In Vietnam, the seed membranes are used to aid in the relief of dry eyes, as well as to promote healthy vision. Similarly, in traditional Chinese medicine the seeds of gac, known in Mandarin Chinese as mùbiēzǐ (Chinese: 木鳖子), are employed for a variety of internal and external purposes. Recently, attention is being to be attracted to it in the West, because chemical analysis of the fruit suggests it has high concentrations of several important phytonutrients.
The fruit contains by far the highest content of beta-carotene of any known fruit or vegetable. Research has confirmed that the beta-carotene (vitamin A) in the fruit is highly bioavailable. In a double-blind study with 185 children, some were given a dish containing 3.5 mg beta-carotene from spiny bitter gourd, while others were given an identical-looking dish containing 5 mg beta-carotene powder. After 30 days, the former group eating natural beta-carotene had significantly greater plasma (blood) levels of beta-carotene than the latter with synthetic beta-carotene . This oil also included high levels of vitamin E. The fatty acids in the aril[3] are important for the absorption of fat-soluble nutrients, including carotenoids, in a diet typically low in fat. Thus, gac provides an acceptable source of high levels of valuable antioxidants that have good bioavailability. Also, vitamin A is good for skin and vision.
Due to its high content of vitamin A (beta-carotene) and lycopene, gac is often sold as a food supplement in soft capsules.

Chemical constituents

Gac has been shown to be especially high in lycopene content. Relative to mass, it contains up to 70 times the amount of lycopene found in tomatoes. It has also been found to contain up to 10 times the amount of beta-carotene of carrots or sweet potatoes. Additionally, the carotenoids present in gac are bound to long-chain fatty acids, resulting in what is claimed to be a more bioavailable form. There has also been recent research that suggests that gac contains a protein that may inhibit the proliferation of cancer cells

Cheese… Smile and Say “Cheese” (February 15, 2012) …item 2.. Say Cheese! — Why is kosher hard cheese so expensive? (April 29, 2013) …item 3.. Forward to a Friend …
special k diet
Image by marsmet549
Cheese… is versatile. From cheese cubes to mac and cheese there are hundreds of ways to serve cheese. How about a hot pizza dip for an appetizer? For dinner, try two-cheese Mediterranean stuffed chicken and balsamic strawberries with ricotta cream for dessert.
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……..*****All images are copyrighted by their respective authors …….
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… marsmet549 photo … Black text on white background …

m.flickr.com/#/photos/95453036@N08/8703579244/

Thursday, April 3, 2014

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… marsmet544 photo … American Dairy Association …item 1 & 2.. The Smitten Kitchen, Fearless cooking from a tiny kitchen in New York City (WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 31, 2012) …

www.flickr.com/photos/74571262@N08/8144756231/in/photostream

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… marsmet544 photostream … marsmet544 … Page 1

www.flickr.com/photos/74571262@N08/?details=1

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…..item 1)…. Smile and Say “Cheese” …

… Midwest Dairy Association … www.midwestdairy.com/

Posted By Char Heer February 15, 2012 03:10 PM
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img code photo … Smile and Say Cheese

www.midwestdairy.com/files/image/content/LARGE/Smile_and_…

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www.midwestdairy.com/0p48b1be123/dairy-makes-sense/

“Have a Gouda day” or “let’s party with Havarti.” These are just a couple “cheesy” lines I use occasionally when I’m feeling witty; however, there is nothing “cheesy” about the contributions of cheese to our diet.

Cheese… is nutritious. It contributes many essential nutrients to Americans’ diets — not only is it a valuable source of protein, but also calcium, phosphorus, vitamin A and zinc. Cheese contributes only 8 percent of the sodium, 9 percent of total fat and 5 percent of total calories to the U.S. diet. In fact consider this – countries with the highest cheese consumption, like Greece and France, have lower incidences of hypertension and obesity.

Cheese… easily fits into most eating plans, such as the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) diet, diabetic, Mediterranean, plant-based, vegetarian, gluten-free and low-lactose, among others. For those with lactose intolerance, cheese can be an important source of calcium. Because most of the lactose is removed when the curds are separated from the whey in the cheese making process, natural cheeses such as Cheddar, Colby and Swiss contain minimal amounts of lactose.

Cheese… tastes great. With more than 300 varieties in the United States, there is a cheese to please just about any palate. Cheese is grouped into eight different categories based on consistency and taste. My favorite is Havarti (remember “party with Havarti!"). It is considered a semi-soft cheese with a mild, creamy flavor. I’ll eat it as a light snack with an apple or make a grilled Havarti cheese sandwich with green and red peppers. Did you know that kids and adults will eat more fruits and vegetables if served with cheese?

Cheese… is versatile. From cheese cubes to mac and cheese there are hundreds of ways to serve cheese. How about a hot pizza dip for an appetizer? For dinner, try two-cheese Mediterranean stuffed chicken and balsamic strawberries with ricotta cream for dessert.

So when it comes to enjoying cheese… you can’t “miss with Swiss” (or any other kind of cheese).

What’s your favorite cheese? Or if you’re feeling witty, share your favorite “cheesy” line.
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weblink … Midwest Dairy Association

Hot Pizza Dip

www.midwestdairy.com/0p28r49/hot-pizza-dip/

Ingredients

… 6 ounces light cream cheese
… 1/2 cup light sour cream
… 1 teaspoon oregano
… 1/2 cup pizza sauce
… 1 cup shredded low-moisture, part-skim Mozzarella cheese
… 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
… 1/4 cup diced red peppers
… 1/4 cup sliced green onions
… whole-wheat bread sticks or crackers

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weblink … Midwest Dairy Association

Two-Cheese Mediterranean Stuffed Chicken

www.midwestdairy.com/0p28r57/twocheese-mediterranean-stuf…

Ingredients

… 2 tbsp olive oil
… 1/2 cup chopped onion
… 1 cup diced tomatoes
… 1 tsp minced garlic
… 1 6 oz. bag baby spinach
… 1 cup part-skim, shredded Mozzarella cheese
… 1/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
… 4 boneless, skinless medium chicken breast halves (approx. 1.5 lbs)
… 2 tsp Italian seasoning blend
… 1/2 cup low-sodium chicken broth

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weblink … Midwest Dairy Association

Balsamic Strawberries with Ricotta Cream

www.midwestdairy.com/0p28r82/balsamic-strawberries-with-r…

Ingredients

… 1 cup part-skim ricotta cheese
… 3 ounces cream cheese
… 2 tablespoons powdered sugar
… 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
… 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
… 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
… 1 container (16 ounces) fresh strawberries, hulled and quartered
… 1 tablespoon fresh basil leaves, cut into ribbons

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……item 2)…. Say Cheese! ….

… Jewish Action … www.ou.org/jewish_action/ … The Magazine of the Orthodox Union …

by JA Mag | April 29, 2013 in Kashrut

By Avrohom Gordimer

www.ou.org/jewish_action/04/2013/say-cheese/

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img code photo … Cheese

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On Shavuot many Jews have the custom of eating dairy. There are various explanations offered for this custom, one being that the Torah, which was given on Shavuot, is likened to milk.

Legend has it that cheese was first discovered by accident. Thousands of years ago, an Arabian nomad was carrying milk in a container made from the lining of an animal’s stomach. Upon reaching his destination, the nomad opened the container and noticed that his milk had hardened into something else—something we now call cheese. (The enzymatic properties of the stomach lining must have interacted with the milk to produce cheese.)

— Whey to Go: How Cheese Is Made

Technically, cheese is broken down into two distinct categories: acid-set cheese and rennet-set cheese. Acid-set cheese (“soft cheese”) refers to cream cheese, cottage cheese, farmer cheese and other cheeses produced by adding bacterial cultures to milk. This results in the formation of soft cheese curds and whey.

Rennet-set cheese (“hard cheese”) generally refers to cheeses such as cheddar, mozzarella, provolone and hundreds of other types. These cheeses are produced by adding rennet enzymes to milk, whereupon somewhat firm cheese curds form, accompanied by liquid whey.

All cheese production involves gathering the curds together and removing the whey. The curds are then either kept loose or molded tightly. Subsequently, they are processed in a multitude of ways.

In addition to milk, cultures and rennet, various other ingredients are used in most cheese making. Cream (milk fat) and non-fat milk powder are often added to modify the product’s fat ratio; vinegar may be added to adjust the pH of the milk prior to conversion into cheese, and additional cultures and enzymes are commonly added to achieve various flavors as well as to prepare the milk for interacting with the rennet. All of these ingredients help explain how there can be over one thousand varieties of cheese in the world today.

— Hard Facts about Hard Cheese

While all hard cheeses include rennet, they vary greatly in how they are manufactured. Parmesan cheese is produced by adding rennet to scalding hot milk and then aging the cheese for over a year until it is quite firm. Mozzarella cheese is cooked and stretched in a large tub after it is formed, resulting in a unique elastic texture, ideal for pizza and lasagna. Mozzarella and many other cheeses are brined, that is, submerged into a salt-water solution to protect the cheese from spoilage. Cheddar cheese is manufactured at cool temperatures and is often aged.

Aside from creating a firm texture, aging provides for a uniquely sharp taste. The more cheese is aged, the more powerful its flavor. (Just compare six-month-old cheddar to its two-year-old counterpart; they are worlds apart in taste.)

Nearly every country in the world has its own varieties of cheese, developed over hundreds, if not thousands, of years. Cheese connoisseurs regard European cheeses as the finest. France boasts Camembert; Switzerland has Swiss cheese (Emmentaler); England gave birth to cheddar, double Gloucester and Cheshire cheeses, and Greece is known for feta cheese. (America has not developed any cheeses of its own. American cheese is not pure cheese; rather it is a blend of already-made cheeses—mostly cheddar—which is melted, hardened and sliced. Think of the hot dog–a collection of various scraps of meat which are mushed together with added spices and molded into a new piece of meat; American cheese is the US dairy industry’s equivalent.)

— Most Frequently Asked Questions about Kosher Cheese

— How is cheese made kosher?

As with any food, all of the ingredients in the cheese as well as the equipment used during the manufacturing process must be kosher. However, a special prohibition makes kosher certification of cheese a bit more challenging: the ban on gevinat Akum (“non-Jewish cheese”), which states that cheese made by non-Jewish companies and/or individuals is not kosher.

— What is the source for gevinat Akum?

The Talmud (Avodah Zarah 29b, 35a-35b) states that the sages of the Mishnaic period forbade eating cheese manufactured by non-Jews. Although the Talmud offers various reasons for this prohibition, most halachic authorities maintain that the ban was made because of the use of rennet in cheese making. Since rennet was traditionally derived from the lining of a calf’s stomach, Chazal forbade non-Jewish cheeses because of the likelihood that they contained rennet from calves that had not been slaughtered in accordance with halachah.

It is important to note that the prohibition against gevinat Akum is not at all related to the kosher regulations regarding milk (chalav stam and chalav Yisrael—unsupervised milk and milk under Jewish supervision). Those who consume chalav stam are fully bound to adhere to the prohibition against eating gevinat Akum.

Gevinat Akum is deemed non-kosher under all conditions, rendering the utensils and cookware used in making and serving it non-kosher as well.

— Can the miniscule amounts of rennet used in hard cheese render the product non-kosher?

A product containing a minuscule amount of a non-kosher ingredient is often regarded as kosher, as the non-kosher substance is batel, or nullified. However, rennetused in hard cheesecannot be batel because of the halachic axiom that a non-kosher ingredient that gives a product its form—called a davar hama’amid—is never nullified (Yoreh Deah 87:11). Even trace amounts of such an ingredient can affect the kosher status of a product. Rennet is one of the most potent food enzymes, and it is therefore used in hard cheese making in minute amounts; nevertheless, it cannot be batel.

— Aren’t some cheeses made from non-animal derived rennet?

In today’s world of advanced food technology, much of the rennet used is microbial, that is, artificial. Nevertheless, mainstream halachic literature posits that Chazal banned all cheese made by non-Jews, irrespective of the presence of animal rennet, as a precaution against the consumption of actual non-kosher animal rennet-based cheese (Rambam, Hilchot Ma’achalot Asurot 3:14 and Shulchan Aruch ibid., 115:2). Thus, cheese made from artificial rennet (as well as Portuguese hard cheese made from thistle-flower rennet) is not kosher when manufactured by non-Jews.

It should be noted that the bulk of today’s cheese manufactured in mainland Europe does contain animal rennet. Furthermore, lipase—an enzyme added to some cheeses to hasten the breakdown of fat and endow a more powerful flavor—is almost always animal-derived (lipase is extracted from the tongues of domesticated animals), although artificial lipase substitutes are becoming more widespread. Romano cheese is usually treated with goat, lambor kid lipase, and blue cheese often contains calf lipase.

Animal rennet and lipase can be kosher, however. If the kosher source animal is slaughtered, de-veined, salted and processed according to kosher law, its rennet and lipase are fine for kosher use. (There is no halachic problem with using animal-derived enzymes in cheese [mixing meat and milk] since the amounts used are miniscule. Moreover, the enzymes are not cooked with the milk and lack flavor. Also, the davar hama’amid principle cited earlier only applies to non-kosher substances, and the enzymes are actually kosher.) Still, even cheese made with glatt kosher animal rennet and lipase is considered gevinat Akum when manufactured by non-Jews, as the sages created a general ban on such cheese.

— How does one make gevinat Yisrael?

Some halachic authorities rule that to satisfy the gevinat Yisrael requirement, a Jewish person must be present to supervise the cheese making and ensure that only kosher rennet is used; others hold that a Jewish person must personally add the rennet (similar to “bishul Yisrael” and “pat Yisrael,” which are satisfied only if the Jewish person is actually involved with cooking or baking the food). The OU follows both halachic opinions and insists that rabbinic field representatives supervise all kosher cheese productions and add the rennet as well.

In modern cheese facilities, rennet is often not added manually. Rather, it is dosed into cheese vats via automated rennet feeders. In such cases, the rabbinic field representatives activate the rennet feeders for each vat of cheese produced.

Cheese made in Jewish-owned plants is automatically considered gevinat Yisrael, thereby alleviating the need for full-time rabbinic supervision or involvement (Shach on Yoreh Deah 115, s.k. 20).

— Does gevinat Yisrael also apply to soft cheeses?

This, too, is a point of dispute. Some halachic authorities maintain that gevinat Yisrael applies to all cheeses. Others contend that only cheeses with rennet are subject to this rule. The OU and most of the other kosher certifying agencies adopt the latter position, and on-site full-time supervision is thus not required for acid-set cheeses. (Of course, the ingredients and equipment must be kosher nonetheless, and a reliable kosher symbol must be present.)

— Why is kosher hard cheese so expensive?

The cost of sending rabbinic field representatives to far-flung places to supervise hard-cheese production for days on end is significant. Kosher cheese manufacturers will naturally need to charge more for their products to cover the costs involved.

Furthermore, nearly all domestic and European hard-cheese plants are non-kosher when not doing special kosher cheese productions. These plants schedule kosher campaigns sporadically in the midst of their normal non-kosher activity. Thus, aside from supervising the cheese manufacturing process, the rabbinic field representatives often need to kasher (or supervise the kashering of) each plant before every kosher production. This can take days to complete, and it is not simple work.

The kashrut rules for cheese are among the most mysterious to the average kosher consumer. Even otherwise scholarly and erudite members of our community are often “in the dark” as to what makes cheese kosher (and why they pay more for it!). It is hoped that the above discussion sheds light and unravels some of the mystery.

Rabbi Gordimer is a rabbinic coordinator in the OU’s Kashrut Department. He specializes in the dairy industry, where he manages the kosher certification programs for over 200 plants.
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Adventures of K-9
special k diet
Image by byronv2
With the 50th anniversary of Doctor Who coming up on November 23rd, 2013, when I was home visiting dad I had a rummage through shelves in my old room. I still have a lot of books there too, including piles of Doctor Who novels from when I was a boy. There are some specials – the effects guy Mat Irvine’s book about doing effects for the show, the Monster Book, Programme Guide etc, but most of these are novelisations of stories from the show’s history.

In the 70s and very early 80s, before home video became affordable and shows were available to buy or rent this was pretty much the only way fans could enjoy the older stories. Like a lot of kids I grew up with the show, adored it, and as an omnivorous reader I picked up piles of these books, often written by someone associated with the show – script editor for Who Terrance Dicks famously penned dozens of these novelisations, but so to did others from the show like writer Malcolm Hulke, Gerry Davis and Ian Marter (who played companion Harry Sullivan in the early Tom Baker era, and sadly died very young).

I’ve still got piles of these back at the parental mansion, part of my childhood, as they were for many kids my age and part of what fed my special love of science fiction in my still constant diet of reading. I didn’t know back then that one day I’d be penning reviews of the books I loved, or that I’d see quotes from those reviews used as blurb on book covers and book adverts, or that that love of reading would have me on stage introducing great authors at the Edinburgh Book Festival. Just shows you – no matter what they are picking up, if your kids are reading, let them, don’t police it, let them explore and enjoy those page-bound realms because who knows where it takes them in later life…

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