Here is the cool science activity that is kids-friendly. This time I am going to demonstrate how to make whey and curds using different juices.
We have been curious to know about whey and curds. You can now learn to make the same with this recipe. Being an edible science experiment , It increases fun for your kids.
Hope you are excited and wondered since it is a simple cool science experiment as well as a great introduction to kids learn ‘milk chemistry’ i.e. how milk turns into various products like cheese, curd, butter, whey, and butter milk etc. when treated with different methods.
My younger daughter Tisha is 3.5 years and she wanted to make curd. So I decided to try this DIY curd recipe at home.
3-4-year-old kids can make this experiment with little guidance and they will like this because of that rhymes. In fact, I took help from my kid Tisha while doing this.
5-6-year-old kids will do it little more independently.
7-9-year-old kids can experiment with the working principle by substituting with milk types including raw milk, skim milk, goat milk, etc. Also, they can use different edible acid like lemon juice in the place of vinegar. Even they can try changing the length and draining time to observe the results. They can additionally take these observations and prepare ricotta-filled cannelloni.
How to make whey and curd using juices
The generic name for whey and curd is called curdled milk. The solid portion separated from curdled milk is called curd and the watery portion is called the whey. The process of curdling of milk can be done in different methods and based on that you will get a different quality of cheese. Our method of getting curd is called ricotta cheese. We can make ricotta cheese by combining milk and vinegar. You can recall recipe used for making paneer and queso-blanco for making this recipe.
Coagulation is a process (of changing liquids into solid or semi-solid states) what actually happens in the milk. In fact, without coagulation you cannot expect milk turn into curd, cheese or any other dairy products that are mandatory in our daily usage or kitchen. Yes, this is absolutely proven science regarding milk.
Apart from this, we can make milk curdle without spoiling it. Try this simple science activity to find out how!?
We are going to make milk curdle using four different liquids like vinegar, pineapple juice, lemon juice and mosambi juice.
- Glass jar
- Glass Bowl (Take four clean and clear glass bowls as we are going to make milk curdle using four different liquids)
- Pineapple juice
- Lemon juice
- Mosambi juice
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Certainly, don’t leave out your little one who is going to help you in making curds and whey.
- Take the milk in a saucepan. Place it on the stove top and stir while it is getting heated. Let the flame be low and allow it to reach a temperature of 80oC (175oF). You can check this with the thermometer.
- Take freshly prepared juices to get the better results. Make sure the milk is hot and fresh.
- Label four of the small glass bowls like “pineapple juice”, “lemon juice”, “vinegar”, and “mosambi juice”.
- Take fresh pineapple, lemon, and mosambi and grate them into smaller pieces. Make juice out of it using any blender or juicer.
What to do
Have you ever ended up with something closer to cottage cheese while making pineapple smoothie!? Definitely the answer would be ‘yes’!! You might be blaming pineapple for spoiling your smoothie. Do not know whether you know the right reason to blame pineapple. But you are right, pineapple is the solely reason for turning milk into curd and whey.
1) Take a required quantity of hot milk in the glass bowl labelled ‘pineapple juice’. Ask your little ones to add a few drops of freshly prepared pineapple juice into the hot milk.
2) My girls were amazed seeing the wonderful end result of the activity. Soon after you add few drops of pineapple juice to the hot milk, the milk will turn into curd separating the whey clearly.
3) In the same way, repeat the above two steps with lemon juice, vinegar and mosambi juice in the labelled glass bowls we already kept ready.
4) Anybody irrespective of ages will be fascinated seeing the final product of the activity. Yes, all our four different liquids make milk curdle very clearly separating whey.
Science of making whey and curd using juices and milk
Milk is a slightly acidic complex compound made up of fat and proteins together with casein. The pH of milk ranges between 6.4-6.8. When the milk’s pH drops (it might be due to any reasons like souring naturally or by adding extra acid), the negatively charged casein starts attracting another molecule and begin to form clumps. Eventually, the clumps become large which are considered as curd. Since all the juices we used in the activity are acidic making the milk more acidic (when added to it) and further turns to curd and whey.
What to explore
- Ask your kids to change the quantities of milk and juices and try the activity.
- You can try with different kinds of vinegar
- Also try with different kinds of milk like skimmed milk, whole milk, soya milk etc.
- Make a record and compare the results.
Also tell kids some clean up activity after the work is done. You can ask them to keep the work area clean by cleaning the used bowls and pouring all the waste solutions in the sink. This way kids also learn keeping things clean and neat.
Tisha’s role in this experiment was to help to get the ingredients, measuring milk and pouring. However, I did not let stir because it was hot.
In case your kids are older, then you may ask them to mix. But be with them and help them.
I checked the temperature and switched off the stove.
She was proud that she helped in adding vinegar too.
I was so glad that making cheese is a damn easy process. Not more than 30 minutes we spent to get this done. By only using things available at home we made this cheese. Also, it is the best activity to be performed indoor during the rainy day.
Also, you can make it in small quantities and these are fresh every time. Do away with the store bought cheese from now on. There is no need to store it anymore as you need 30 minutes time to prepare this for your meal. When there are more milk packets, then convert them into cheese and have a treat. Are you thinking of what to do with the whey? Try these suggestions and stay healthy.
Milk contains minerals, fats, proteins, sugar, and water. The proteins present in milk include whey and casein proteins. These are all combined together forming a colloid. The colloid will not settle down together and hence gets separated in this process when adding vinegar.
Molecules in protein repel each other at a normal pH level. When the pH drops, the immediate casein proteins attract with each other and form a clump to become curd. This process is called curdling and the water left out is called whey.
You can drop the pH level in milk by adding buttermilk, lemon juice, vinegar, etc. We have tried it with variety of juices. In a nutshell, adding acid will curdle the milk. Heating is required to speed up the process.
How do you separate whey from curd?
Take a cheese cloth muslin cloth as a strainer. Place it over a bowl and pour off the mixture of whey and curds. It takes few minutes for the whey to drain. Squeeze the curd that is strained in the muslin cloth until all the whey separates out from the curd.
Does curd contain whey?
Whey is the leftover liquid after the milk is curdled ans strained. So, curd doesn’t contain whey anymore.
What exactly are curds and whey?
Curd and whey are the by products formed during cheese making. Curds are formed when the milk coagulates with rennet (an enzyme). Whey is nothing but the liquid that is expelled while curdling process.
How do you separate milk from curd?
Take a pot with required amount of milk and add an enzyme derived from new born ruminant. the enzyme helps milk to separate curd by coagulating process during curdling.
How do you separate whey from milk?
Pour off the curd into the strainer (a cotton muslin cloth can be used) and let it drain for sometime. the liquid whey drain out into the bowl after several hours at room temperature.
Is cheese made from curds or whey?
Yes, cheese makers cook curd and whey at desired temperature to achieve the perfect consistency of the curd which is then processed into cheese.
What part of milk is whey?
Whey is the liquid part of milk after curdling process.
What is the difference between curd and whey?
Curd is the solid mass of milk during curdling process whereas whey is the liquid portion.
What exactly is whey?
Actually, milk is made of two proteins i.e. whey and casein. Whey gets separated from casein in the milk during cheese making and as a by product of milk curdling process.
What can you do with whey?
Yes, whey is very much useful and handy ingredient in our kitchen. Below are some uses of whey:
1) Use it as a starter culture when fermenting vegetables.
2)Add it to smoothies and shakes to provide more vitamins, minerals, and proteins.
3)Drink it straight!
4)Reconstitute fruit juice to add nutritional value
5)Use whey to soak grains, Nourishing Traditions style
6)Make tasty whey lemonade
If you’d like to read about recipe variations, I liked this post from The Food Lab where he tries out a bunch of different methods to make ricotta and documents the results. And in case you’re confused about where the recipe actually is at the end of the post (like I was), here it is here.
Try this recipe posted in Food lab to make some variations in the recipe. See here to know where exactly the post is.
Get more edible science projects for kids that includes the following
- Try sherbet recipewith your kid to feel the fizzy reaction on the tongue.
- For making a delicious recipe with fun and observe the frothy reaction, try Anzac biscuits
- Check out the edible glassrecipe in which you can make glass from sugar and eat them too.
- My favorite one is the Honeycomb Feel free to add or not chocolate on its top.
Find all my work on Pinterest also in the following pages
- Go Science Kids
- Edible science projects