Ricotta Cheese Making

Cheese is a mixture of fats, proteins, and other lactic ingredients.

Ricotta cheese is a light, smooth and creamy cheese with a gentle texture. It is formed from buttermilk. Typically low in salt and fat content, it is ideal for people suffering high blood pressure or cholesterol problems.

Buttermilk is the liquid extracted from curdled milk. It contains a diverse range of proteins, such as albumins and globulins, and is of a yellowish colour and sweet flavour.

• Buttermilk
• Salt
• Citric acid, or Vinegar, or Lemon

• Stove
Cooking pot / pan
• Thermometer
• Stirring paddle or spatula
• Strainer or sieve
• Containers
• Cloth sacks
• String or tape
• Polythene bags
• Detergent
• Bleach



• Before commencing the production process, all the utensils must be washed.
• Wash using water and detergent, ensuring to rinse thoroughly with plenty of water afterwards.


• Prepare a mixture of water and bleach, adding a teaspoonful of bleach to a litre of water.
• Soak the utensils in the mixture, then rinse them with hot water.

Method of Production

Step 1
Heat the buttermilk to 86°C (- this temperature may vary depending on your height above sea level).

Step 2
Add salt – a quantity 0.1% of the total amount
Whilst the buttermilk is heating up to the desired temperature, prepare the acidic ingredient:

Citric Acid
• Add a teaspoon of citric acid to a glass of cold water and stir.
• Use 5g of citric acid for every 10 litres of buttermilk.

Vinegar and Lemon
• Add a tablespoon of vinegar per 10 litres of buttermilk.
• Add [the juice of] one lemon per 10 litres of buttermilk.

Step 3
Ensure to add the citric acid only when the buttermilk reaches 86°C.

Step 4
Take the pan off the heat and leave it to stand for half an hour. This allows the rennet to rise to the surface.

Step 5
Pour the contents of the pan through a sieve, then place the contents of the sieve in a bag of fine cloth.

Step 6
Hang the bag overnight to air it.

Step 7
The following day, empty the contents of the bag into a mould. Crumble up the rennet, taking care that no dirt gets in.

Place the crumbled rennet in polythene bags, to avoid contamination by micro-organisms or other foreign bodies. Having done this, refrigerate the product at 4°C.

In order to give greater nutritional value to the product, you may add milk to it, at 10% of the total amount of buttermilk.


This technical brief was translated by Edward Stevens from the original document in Spanish produced by Soluciones Prácticas in 2009.

For further information, contact Giannina Solari:

Soluciones Prácticas
Av Jorge Chávez 275 – Miraflores
Apartado Postal 18-0620
Lima 18
Tel: +(511) 447-5127, 444-7055, 446-7324
Fax: +(511) 446-6621
Email: info@solucionespracticas.org.pe
Web: www.solucionespracticas.org.pe

Practical Action
The Schumacher Centre for Technology and Development
Rugby, Warwickshire, CV23 9QZ
United Kingdom
Tel: +44 (0)1926 634400
Fax: +44 (0)1926 634401
E-mail: inforserv@practicalaction.org.uk
Website: http://practicalaction.org/practicalanswers/

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