Sunday, June 18, 2017

What Kind Of Mold Is Involved In Cheese Making?

Depending on the type of cheese that you eat, there will be some mold in it that you don’t need to worry about. While moldy cheese that has been sitting in your fridge for months should probably be tossed, certain types of cheese are actually designed to have mold. Mold will only be involved in cheese making particular cheese varieties and the kind used depends on the cheese in question.
Blue Molds
The most popular kind of cheese that is made with mold is blue cheese. There are two types of blue mold that you will find in blue cheese, regardless of the variety. These are P. glacucum and P. roqueforti. Each of these molds provides the unique texture and flavor you love of blue cheese. The molds can grow in environments with very low oxygen levels, which is why they are so great at ripening cheese; they can do so in the small cracks. To encourage this process, many cheesemakers who are aging blue cheese will actually pierce channels into the cheese and then place the mold inside so they grow. You can find mold in common blue cheeses like Cabrales, Gorgonzola, Roquefort, and Stilton. While blue cheese is the most likely to have blue molds, you can also find them on some goat cheeses.
White Molds
Although most people think of blue molds when they picture the mold used in cheese making, there are also white molds. These will be found along the outside of nearly every soft-ripened cheese. These white molds are P. camembertii, which is also known as P. candidum and its subspecies. White mold in cheese works by producing enzymes which break down milk proteins from curds. This in turn causes that ripened layer that is surrounded by a firm interior. Cheese with white mold will typically produce an earthy or garlicky flavor. The only thing to remember with cheese featuring white mold is that ammonia is a by-product of the enzymatic process. Because of this, you need to let the cheese breathe or sit uncovered so the ammonia can dissipate.
Is The Mold Dangerous?
Since mold is actually used in cheese making, it should be obvious that it does not pose a health threat. This is particularly true of the cheeses that have intentional mold growth. There are also some cheeses that will simply grow mold on their surface. While a very small number can be harmful, the vast majority of these unintentional molds are not. Instead, they actually enhance the flavor of the cheese.

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