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Cheese Packaging Facts


DID YOU KNOW?

 

Categories  One way to classify cheese is by moisture content:

 

    1. Fresh (very high moisture content) – ex. Feta and Ricotta



    2. Soft (moisture content > 63%) – ex. Brie and Boursin



    3. Semi-soft (moisture content of 54-63%) – ex. Gouda and Gorgonzola



    4. Hard (moisture content of 49-63%) – ex. Cheddar and Monterey Jack



    5. Very hard (fat-free moisture content < 51%) – ex. Parmesan and Romano



    6. Blue – injected with a specific species of penicillum causing mold growth and very distinctive flavors

 

Shelf Life  Water vapor, light, and oxygen all affect the quality of cheese. Light and residual oxygen lead to the oxidation of fats, which contributes to “off” flavors in the cheese. Reducing head-space volume and minimizing residual oxygen are both important to increasing the shelf life of cheese.

 

OXYGEN BARRIERS  Different types of cheese require different oxygen barrier properties. For instance, aged cheeses need a high barrier, while Swiss cheese requires a very low barrier. Our experts can help guide you through the best packaging options for your product.

 

Time to Make the Cheese  Production and consumption of cheese predates recorded history. Many people believe it began around 8000 BC in the Middle East around the time when sheep were first domesticated. The conversion of milk into cheese occurs in four distinct phases:

 

    1. Coagulation – changes in casein lead to the formation of a protein network called coagulum



    2. Drainage – separation of the whey to obtain a curd



    3. Salting – incorporation of salt



    4. Ripening or Curing – enzymes act on the curd to create biochemical changes

 

Mold  Packaging materials used for cheddar cheeses must provide a sufficient barrier to oxygen in order to prevent fat oxidation and mold growth. Surprisingly, though, mold is often the result of an insufficient vacuum inside the package, lack of integrity on the heat seal, or the packing room environment.

To learn more, visit our Dairy & Deli page or contact Flair today.