Half-fat Cheddar cheese (similar to 15%, w/w, fat) was manufactured on three occasions from milk pasteurised at 72, 77, 82 or 87 degrees C for 26 s, and analysed over a 270 day ripening period. Increasing milk pasteurisation temperature significantly increased the levels of moisture (from similar to 45% at 72 degrees C to 50% at 87 degrees C), total lactate, and D(-)-lactate in cheese over the 270 day ripening period. Conversely, the cheese pH decreased significantly on increasing pasteurisation temperature. Increasing the pasteurisation temperature did not significantly affect the populations of starter or non-starter lactic acid bacteria during maturation. The use of higher pasteurisation temperatures would appear particularly amenable to exploitation as a means of producing high-moisture (e.g., 40-41%), short-ripened, mild-flavoured Cheddar or Cheddar-like cheeses. (c) 2005 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.