Ripening Treatments

According to the type of surface characteristics, cheese treatments are grouped as follows:

  • Ripened by surface moulds
  • Washed rinds with out (or with little) bacterial growth, e.g., St. Paulin types.
  • Washed rinds with smear, e.g., Muenster types and Oka
  • Dry rinds which may be coated with oil or butter to prevent cracking and desiccation, e.g., Edam, Scamorza, and Parmesan.
  • Waxes and resins which may be applied by dipping, brushing or spraying. These provide good protection but are more permeable than plastic films, so it is still desirable to maintain 85% RH to prevent drying.
  • Rindless cheese which are cured in moisture and gas impermeable film or in large blocks (eg., 640 lb Cheddar)

Waxes and films may be treated with anti-mould agents such as pimaricin, sorbic acid and propionates to prevent mould growth.