I'm wondering if it matters whether you start from acid alone (lemon, vinegar or citric) vs something like acid + rennet.

So the whey left over from making paneer, vs the whey left over from making mozzarella. Can you use either to extract the ricotta?

1 Answer 1


Ricotta cheese is made from whey left over from making cheeses using rennet, such as mozzarella. The whey is heated and an acidic element (such as vinegar, lime juice) is added to it to incite coagulation.

Paneer is made by adding an acid to hot milk.

To answer your question, you can make ricotta using whey left over after making mozzarella, but you cannot make it from whey left over from paneer as acids are used in it's production.

Note: if ricotta is made from whole milk it will be practically identical to paneer.

  • This is the answer. I make Marscapone, but the whey left over is not suitable for ricotta, because the whey has already been curdled by the acid introduction to make the marscapone. In otherwords, you won't really get anything useful out of it. Not enough to bother with anyway.
    – Escoce
    Feb 23, 2015 at 15:20
  • Thank you! On your last note, are you saying that when using something like lemon juice to coagulate whole milk, the result is ricotta (with consistency of paneer)?
    – erotavlas
    Feb 23, 2015 at 18:02
  • 1
    @erotavlas Indeed. It also comes down to the time spent straining. 15-30 minutes for ricotta until you reach the desired consistency and it's 30 minutes for paneer + an hour or two with a weighted plate or a cast iron pan on top of it until it gets that dense solid form.
    – dijkstra
    Feb 24, 2015 at 13:39

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